Justice had to present its excuses to the nurse. “I’m sorry,” Ulm’s attorney overseeing the investigation, Christof Lehr, told a news conference.

The Prosecutor’s Office in Ulm (southern Germany) reported on Tuesday (04.03.2020) that it has released without charge the nurse he accused last week of having supplied morphine in an unjustified way to five premature babies, seriously putting him at risk your health.

Ulm’s chief prosecutor, Christof Lehr, said at a press conference that the accusation was based on evidence that has been found false.

The solvent of police investigators

It was a syringe with breast milk and morphine remains found at the suspect’s ticket office. It has now been found that morphine remains were only outside and came from a solvent used by police investigators.

Pressekonferenz in Ulm zu Kinderkrankenschwester (picture-alliance / dpa / C. Schmidt)Christof Lehr, Chief Prosecutor of the Ulm Prosecutor’s Office, during the press conference.

The prosecution maintains, however, that the five premature babies were “criminally” put in danger of death. “Everything indicates that morphine was given to five defenseless newborns,” Lehr said. On suspects and motives of the investigators, he did not provide any detail.

The babies, between one day and five weeks, all survived this voluntary intoxication that occurred on December 20 in a maternity hospital in Ulm. Apparently babies will not have sequelae, according to the hospital.

Remains of morphine in the urine

The investigation was initiated following the complaint of the Ulm clinic, after five preterm infants simultaneously suffered serious respiratory problems at the dawn of December 20.

Universitätsklinik Ulm - Klinik für Kinder- und Jugendmedizin (picture-alliance / dpa / C. Schmidt)The building of the Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine Clinic of the University Hospital of Ulm.

Initially, it was thought that it was an infection, but tests performed on infants detected, in at least two cases, morphine remains in the urine unjustifiably. The hospital center address then contacted the police.

The security forces searched the clinic and seized at the nurse’s box office of the aforementioned syringe with breast milk and morphine remains, which led to his arrest. The clinic has apologized for the “incident” and has expressly apologized to the families of the babies.

In recent years, Germany has been shaken by several scandals that have involved hospitals.  

The best known is that of Niels Högel, a former nurse who suffered a “severe narcissistic disorder”, according to psychiatrists, and was sentenced in June to life imprisonment for the murder of at least 85 patients in two hospitals in northwestern Germany.


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