A nurse tried to kill 19 patients, including a 104-year-old, at 5 different facilities in Pennsylvania, attorney general says

A healthcare worker rolls a patient gurney into a patient room.
A healthcare worker rolls a patient gurney into a patient room.Jonathan Kirn/Getty Images
  • Heather Pressdee, a Pennsylvania nurse, is accused of trying to kill 19 patients.

  • Pressdee gave abnormally high doses of insulin to patients as old as 104, authorities say.

  • Presdee sent text messages about giving her patients "pillow therapy," a criminal complaint says.

A Pennsylvania nurse is facing dozens of criminal charges after authorities say she tried to kill 19 patients with lethal doses of insulin.

Heather Pressdee, 41, is facing two counts of first-degree murder, 17 counts of attempted murder, and 19 counts of neglect of a care-dependent person, according to the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.

Authorities accused Pressdee of administering excessive amounts of insulin to her patients, some of whom were not diabetic. In total, 17 people died in Pressdee's care, the attorney general said in a release.

Pressdee's victims ranged in age from 43 to 104. She would typically give her victims the insulin during late night shifts when staffing was low, and the emergencies would not prompt immediate hospitalization, the attorney general said.

According to a criminal complaint, forensic analysis of Pressdee's internet history showed that she searched for insulin and "how long is insulin good for."

"She could be dead, she hasn't made a noise since 9 and I'm not going to check on her," Pressdee wrote in a text message to her mother about a patient on December 7, 2022.

Pressdee also sent text messages to her mother in which she talked about giving her patients "pillow therapy," the complaint says.

"I can't with this lady tonight. She's going to get pillow therapy," Pressdee said in a December 25, 2022 text message to her mother, the complaint says.

"I may kill this resident. I need to set some sort of boundaries with him. He's following me and he's driving me nuts," Pressdee said in another text on May 12, 2023, the document states.

Pressdee waived her initial hearing on the criminal charges and is in custody at the Butler County Prison without bond, according to the attorney general's office.

Pressdee's crimes took place while she was employed at five different facilities in Pennsylvania, including Concordia at Rebecca Residence, Belair Healthcare and Rehabilitation, Quality Life Services Chicora, Premier Armstrong Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, and Sunnyview Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, according to the release.

State Attorney General Michelle Henry said the allegations against Pressdee are "disturbing" given her trusted position as a nurse.

"It is hard to comprehend how a nurse, trusted to care for her patients, could choose to deliberately and systematically harm them," Henry said. "The damage done to the victims and their loved ones cannot be overstated.

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