Introduced air into arteries: in Texas, a nurse killed patients
A Texas nurse was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in connection with the death of four patients. They died after he injected them with air after heart surgery. NBC News.
The Smith County jury deliberated for nearly an hour before finding William George Davis of Hallsville guilty of capital murder. The prosecutor's office planned to seek the death penalty at the sentencing stage.
Davis, 37, was accused of injecting air into the arteries of four patients after they underwent heart surgery at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler in 2017 and 2018. While recovering from surgeries, four patients - John Lafferty, Ronald Clark, Christopher Greenway, and Joseph Kalina - suffered unexplained neurological problems and died.
During the trial, Dr. William Yarbrough, a Dallas pulmonologist and professor of medicine, explained to the jury how the introduction of air into the arterial system injures the brain and leads to death.
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Yarbrough said he was able to detect the presence of air in the arterial system of victims by looking at scans of the brain - something he said he had never seen before in his decades in medicine.
The doctor ruled out blood pressure problems like any other cause of death besides the injection of air. He said this had to happen after the surgeries because complications arose while the patients were in the recovery phase.
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Defense attorney Phillip Hayes told the jury that the hospital was in trouble and Davis became the scapegoat who was charged just because he was there when the deaths occurred.
Prosecutor Chris Gatewood remarked during his closing argument that Davis "loved to kill people." Attorney Jacob Putman said there have been no changes in procedures or similar incidents at the hospital since Davis was fired.
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