4.9 Activity: Murderous nurse

For several years in the 1990s, Kristen Gilbert worked as a nurse in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Veteran’s Administration hospital in Northampton, Massachusetts. Over the course of her time there, other nurses came to suspect that she was killing patients by injecting them with the heart stimulant epinephrine.

Part of the evidence against Gilbert was a statistical analysis of more than one thousand 8-hour shifts during the time Gilbert worked in the ICU21.

In this activity, we’ll use these data to explore the question,

Were deaths more likely to occur on shifts when Kristen Gilbert was working than on shifts when she was not?

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4.9: Murderous nurse?
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  1. Cobb, G. W., & Gehlbach, S. (2006). Statistics in the courtroom: United States vs. Kristen Gilbert. In R. Peck, G. Casella, G. Cobb, R. Hoerl, D. Nolan, R. Starbuck and H. Stern (Eds.),Statistics: A guide to the unknown (4th Edition), pp. 3–18. Duxbury: Belmont, CA.↩︎