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Saline drips and ampules routinely used to treat patients on two wards at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport were deliberately contaminated by a "poisoner" at work during the summer of 2011, a court has been told.
Peter Wright QC, prosecuting 49-year-old nurse Victorino Chua, said the poisoner was contaminating the fluids with insulin with the intention of causing "really serious harm".
A total of 21 patients, he said, had suffered as a result of the poisoner's handiwork. Three died, one suffered a brain injury and the remaining seventeen were spared the worst effects of insulin poisoning thanks to prompt medical intervention.
The jury heard that security was tightened on the wards, and the instances stopped. But in January 2012, someone deliberately altered medical notes of patients on ward A3 of the hospital, altering recommended dosages - so a "30" would become an "80", or a "1" would become a "7".
The trial of Victorino Chua began this morning at Manchester Crown Court.
The 49-year-old nurse faces 36 charges including 3 counts of murder.
Jurors and realtives of the alleged victims watched as a series of other charges relating to the alleged poisoning of patients was read out before the court.
The offences are alleged to have happened at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, in 2011 and 2012.
In a soft voice, the Filipino replied "not guilty" to each charge. His trial is scheduled to last for at least four months.
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