A woman has been arrested for attempted manslaughter after she switched off a patient's life support ventilator because she was annoyed by the sound it made.

The woman, a 72-year-old German, was detained after the incident in the southwestern city of Mannheim, Germany on Tuesday (November 29).

Incredibly, police said the woman switched off the ventilator of another patient not once, but twice.

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A joint press release by the Mannheim public prosecutor’s office said the woman switched off the ventilator just before 8pm because she “felt disturbed by the noise coming from the oxygen device”.

After her first attempt, staff pleaded with her to not do it again as it was vital for the patient's survival but she repeated her bizarre actions only an hour later.

“Although the suspect was informed by the hospital staff that the oxygen supply was a vital measure, she is said to have switched off the device again around 9pm,” the statement said.

After the second time, the patient, who is 79 years old, had to be revived.

Authorities said while her life was not in danger, she still required intensive care.

The suspect appeared in court on Wednesday before being taken to jail with investigations over what happened still ongoing.

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The scary incident could have been a lot worse however.

In 2010, a nurse in Wiltshire accidentally turned off a patient's life support machine leaving Jamie Merrett, a 37-year-old tetraplegic patient, suffering permanent brain damage.

By the time paramedics could turn Merrett's life support machine back on, over 20 minutes had lapsed.

Merrett's sister, Karen Reynolds, said at the time that his mental age had dropped to that of a young child after the incident.

"He doesn't have a life now," she said.

The NHS Wiltshire primary care trust: "The PCT has investigated the incident when the patient's ventilator care was compromised. We have apologized to the patient and his family for this and have put in place a series of actions to ensure that such an event will not occur again either for this patient or others."


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