DEADLY MEDICINE by Kelly & Dan Reed Moore


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Gripping drama of a nurse so addicted to the excitement of emergencies that she apparently induced cardiac and respiratory arrest in more than 60 babies; over the course of two years, at least half her presumed victims died. The authors' control of the medical details makes this a fascinating hospital thriller--though strangely (because Moore is an attorney), the legal aspects are not rendered with the same flair and skill. Genene Jones, a nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of the San Antonio (Texas) County Hospital, was disliked by many of her colleagues for being aggressive and emotionally unstable; she did, however, win the respect of many supervisors for her readiness to take charge in an emergency. But babies in her care seemed to go into crisis on a frequent basis and many died; nurses who brought their suspicions to doctors and supervisors were transferred and at least one lost her job. In March 1982, Jones was let go--with a favorable recommendation--under a face-saving reorganization plan. She was promptly hired by Dr. Kathleen Holland, who'd just opened a paediatric clinic in the town of Kerrville. Unlike their big-city counterparts, the medical establishment of Kerrville took immediate action following a rash of emergencies and one fatality among Holland's patients; one doctor observed an infant's ""seizure"" and thought it resembled the after-effects of the drug succinylcholine--a drug that Jones had ordered in unusual quantities and claimed to have lost. Jones was eventually convicted of her Kerrville fatality. The authors quote extensively from the trial transcript and an interview with the jury foreman, but after many pages of thorough detail, they seem to run out of steam: Jones' specific sentence is not mentioned; her second trial in San Antonio (for felony injury) and the decision not to charge her with any of the 30-plus suspected killings are glossed over. In spite of deficiencies, however, an engrossing and readable shocker.

Pub Date: Dec. 19th, 1988
Publisher: St. Martin's