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Intentional Overdose at U of C?

By Amanda Dickman in News on Jul 3, 2007 10:20PM

2007_7_medical_sign.jpgA visit to the hopital is scary enough without having to worry about receiving a lethal overdose of medication, but for three elderly women that nightmare seems to have come true. Ruthie Holloway, 82, and Jessie Sherrod, 89, both died in the weeks following their admission to the University of Chicago Hospital in what hospital officials are saying could be "an intentional act" of insulin overdosage.

Holloway, who was admitted on May 21 for a urinary tract infection and died June 10, was found to have an insulin level of 2,680 micro international units per microliter (the normal range is 10-50). Although Sherrod's insulin level was not tested, she was exhibiting signs of insulin overdose before her death on June 6. Another 68-year-old woman is currently in a coma and when doctors noticed signs of an insulin overdose they checked her insulin level; it clocked in at 2,670.

All three women were admitted to the same wing of the hospital between April 28 and May 30. Hospital officials knew about the overdoses when they occurred but didn't notify police until June 22, when they realized that they couldn't come up with an explanation as to how they happened. None of the women were diabetic or prescribed insulin for any reason. The Tribune quoted Dr. Irl Hisch, medical director of the Diabetes Care Center at the University of Washington in Seattle, as saying "The only way I know to get insulin that high is to inject it from a bottle." Yikes.

We know you can't trust everyone and that the world isn't safe most of the time, but it boggles the mind to think that a person employed to help you get better would take it upon themselves to end a life. It's pretty damn sick and twisted if you ask us. Maybe they'll find an explanation that doesn't involve murder, but until then we're going to try and keep ourselves out of the hospital. Just in case.

Image via bcbeatty.