Woman Shut Down Hospital Roommate's Ventilator Twice Because She Was Annoyed by the Sound It Made

Annoyance leads to manslaughter charges.

Hospital stays are rarely pleasant. They're high-stress environments where the body has to cope with the stress of recovery and the attendant loss of independence and privacy. Hospital staff are used to patients who have trouble coping. Except maybe not quite like this. A woman in Germany has been arrested for shutting down her hospital roommate's ventilator two times because she was irritated by the noise it was making, authorities said. Read on to find out what happened to the woman and her roommate. 

Annoyance Leads to Manslaughter Charges


The 72-year-old woman was arrested in the southwestern city of Mannheim after she allegedly switched off her roommate's ventilator twice, German authorities said on Thursday. She was jailed on suspicion of attempted manslaughter. Police and prosecutors said in a statement that the suspect allegedly switched off a 79-year-old woman's ventilator on Tuesday. After being told by staff that it was vital for the patient, she turned it off again later in the evening.

Patient Requires Intensive Care


The older patient had to be revived, authorities said. Although her life is not in danger, she still requires intensive care. It's unclear why the woman was hospitalized when her ventilator was disconnected. A ventilator is a machine that moves air in and out of the lungs, delivering oxygen to people who are unable to breathe without help or have difficulty breathing. They were essential in treating severely ill people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Ghost Patient" In Argentina


This wasn't the only odd hospital news in recent months. Last month, video went viral of a "ghost patient" checking into a hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Security camera footage shows a security guard reacting to a set of sliding doors opening around 3:30 am. The guard seems to welcome a person into the lobby, check them in, direct them where to go, and offers them a wheelchair. But the "patient" is not visible.

Patient Name Draws Shock


Hours later, the guard asked the medical staff about the patient. They expressed confusion—no one had been admitted or released. The staff were shocked when he gave them the name of the person who he checked in: a woman who already was a patient and had died a few hours earlier.

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Just a Prank?


A hospital spokesperson said the incident was being investigated, but they think it was just the guard playing a prank. The automatic doors have been broken and were opening by themselves, they said. "It is the door to one of the entrances that is open after hours. It is the entrance to see the duty doctor," they said. "As it was broken, it opened by itself 28 times during the 10 hours between Thursday night and Friday early morning." 

They also noted, "There is no entry record of any person at that time. This gentleman pretends to be writing something, but when you go to the registry, no one appears. No one entered and no one was registered either. But everything is under investigation."

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor. Read more
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