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RN Accused of Putting Insulin in Patient IVs : * Crime: Nurse said she wanted to go to prison so she could be treated for recurring headaches, FBI agent testified.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Lomita nurse has been indicted on charges she put insulin in the intravenous solutions of two patients as part of a strange plot in which she hoped to be sent to prison so doctors there could treat her for recurring headaches.

A federal grand jury returned the indictment Friday against Lissette Christina Nukida, 32, for allegedly tampering with the intravenous solutions of two patients in February at the Casa Colina Peninsula Rehabilitation Center.

Nukida, who is being held without bail, was accused of taking insulin from a storeroom and injecting it into the intravenous bags.

Shortly after the solutions were administered, other nurses found the two women in distress, according to an affidavit filed with the indictment.

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“Both were sweating profusely, had rising blood pressure and heart rates, and were showing signs of mental confusion,” FBI Agent Denise M. Deppa said in the affidavit.

The women were rushed to a nearby hospital with “dangerously low blood sugar” before they recovered, the agent said. That day, a man was discovered suffering symptoms of insulin contamination, the affidavit said, but he was treated at the center and recovered.

In her affidavit, Deppa said authorities began questioning Nukida, who was the registered nurse on duty.

According to Deppa, Nukida was given a polygraph examination Sept. 12 and confessed.

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“Nukida told me she did not intend to kill anyone, but was trying to get a reaction that would cause an investigation to be conducted so she could later turn herself in to authorities,” the agent said.

“Nukida wanted to do this because she has suffered from recurring headaches for many years which doctors have been unable to diagnose. Nukida read a book or saw a show on television that said people in jail and prisons were getting the best medical care. She thought if she could go to jail that authorities would be forced to give her the medical care she needs.”

Nukida is charged with two counts of tampering with consumer products and acting with “reckless disregard” for patients. She could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.


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