Months after a registered nurse was accused of killing two patients and trying to kill a third, authorities in Pennsylvania have filed additional charges accusing her of mistreating 19 more patients.
Heather Pressdee, 41, is accused of giving numerous patients lethal and unnecessary doses of insulin at five care facilities between 2020 and 2023, according to a Nov. 2 news release from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.
Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar levels, and a human-made form of the hormone is used to treat people with diabetes, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Only some of the patients she provided insulin to were actually diabetic, authorities said.
Pressdee, of Natrona Heights, was charged in May with two counts of homicide and one count of attempted murder, McClatchy News reported. At the time, Attorney General Michelle Henry said the nurse had killed two male patients and hospitalized a third man.
Authorities said 17 patients died under her care.
“Pressdee is charged with first-degree murder in the cases where physical evidence is available to support the cause of death,” officials said. “Attempted murder is charged in the cases where the victims either survived the excessive dosage of insulin, or the cause of death could not be determined.”
She is accused of mistreating 22 patients, authorities said, with victims ranging in ages from 43 to 104.
“Pressdee typically administered the insulin during overnight shifts when staffing was low and the emergencies would not prompt immediate hospitalization,” authorities said.
The registered nurse is accused of mistreating patients while working for Concordia at Rebecca Residence, Belair Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center (Guardian), Quality Life Services Chicora, Premier Armstrong Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, and Sunnyview Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, according to the release.
McClatchy News reached out to the five facilities on Friday and did not immediately receive any responses.
In May, a Quality Life Services spokesperson told McClatchy News the family-owned organization was “shocked and devastated” after learning of the charges.
“We can assure our community, our residents, our families and our staff that all residents of Quality Life Services - Chicora are safe and are receiving appropriate care and services,” the spokesperson continued.
Pressdee is being held without bail at Butler County Prison, about 35 miles north of Pittsburgh, authorities said.
“The allegations against Ms. Pressdee are disturbing,” Henry said in the release. “It is hard to comprehend how a nurse, trusted to care for her patients, could choose to deliberately and systematically harm them. The damage done to the victims and their loved ones cannot be overstated.”
Anyone with additional information about Pressdee or the accusations is asked to call 888-538-8541.