Pennsylvania Nurse Linked to 17 Nursing Home Deaths

Prosecutors say the registered nurse administered lethal doses of insulin to 19 nursing home patients, 17 of whom died.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania — A Pennsylvania nurse who was previously charged in May for her mistreatment of three nursing home patients is facing additional charges. She has admitted to trying to kill 19 of her patients at five rehabilitation centers in Pennsylvania since 2020.

Prosecutors say Heather Pressdee, 41, administered excessive amounts of insulin to her patients. Some of the patients were diabetic and required insulin, while others did not. She allegedly administered the insulin during overnight shifts when staffing was low and the emergencies would not prompt immediate hospitalization.

The victims ranged in age from 43 to 104, and the total number of victims was 22.

The alleged crimes happened while Pressdee was employed as a registered nurse at Concordia at Rebecca Residence; Belair Healthcare and Rehabilitation (Guardian); Quality Life Services Chicora; Premier Armstrong Rehabilitation and Nursing Center; and Sunnyview Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, according to a statement from Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle A. Henry.

On Thursday, Pressdee was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, 17 counts of attempted murder, and 19 counts of neglect of a care-dependent person.

In response to the killing spree, the state’s nursing home industry is calling for changes. Pennsylvania Health Care Association Zach Shamberg told WTAE that current state law enabled Pressdee to get other nursing jobs because employers aren’t allowed to share with other employers the red flags they’ve seen with their former staff members.

Two of the nursing home facilities where the murders occurred had other warning signs as well. One didn’t check patients for high glucose levels, which led to the death of one patient. Another facility didn’t accurately account for controlled substances.

However, even if both of these issues had been addressed before the murders, Presslee would still be able to switch jobs.

Anyone with information about this case or Heather Pressdee is asked to contact the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s tipline at 888-538-8541.

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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