28 Mar 2013

Brazilian doctor may be to blame for hundreds of deaths

8:54 pm on 28 March 2013

A Brazilian doctor charged with killing seven patients in order to free up beds at a hospital intensive care unit may have been responsible for hundreds of deaths.

Prosecutors say Virginia Soares de Souza and her medical team administered muscle-relaxing drugs to patients, then reduced their oxygen supply, causing them to die of asphyxia, Reuters reports.

The killings are alleged to have occurred at the Evangelical Hospital in the southern city of Curitiba.

Three other doctors, three nurses and a physiotherapist have also been charged with murder.

Prosecutors say wiretaps of Dr de Souza's phone conversations reveal her motive was to free up hospital beds for other patients.

They say 20 cases are suspicious and they are looking into nearly 300 others.