Former HonorHealth anesthesia tech charged with poisoning coffee during surgery

A former anesthesia tech at HonorHealth Scottsdale (Ariz.) Shea Medical Center has been charged with poisoning a coffee belonging to someone working in the operating room, CBS5 reported May 24.  

The incident occurred in January, according to the news station. Nelson Ramos was formally charged in April after admitting to pouring Betasept, an antiseptic surgical scrub, into Jeffrey Maxwell's coffee as a "prank." 

Mr. Maxwell, a medical device representative, is not employed by HonorHealth but sits in on surgeries to assist surgeons with the equipment he sells. He set his coffee on a shelf in a hallway outside the operating room and stepped out to take a sip between surgeries. 

"I felt a burning sensation," Mr. Maxwell told the news station. "Then I popped the cap, smelled it, and it smelled like bleach." 

He went to finish the surgery since the patient was still under anesthesia. When the police arrived, they found surveillance footage of an individual tampering with the drink and identified him as Mr. Ramos.

Mr. Maxwell told the news station he suffered from stomach pains and acid reflux for two weeks after the incident. 

"HonorHealth has fully cooperated with the local law enforcement agency involved in this investigation," the health system told Becker's in a statement. "The employee in question is no longer employed by our organization."

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