Former Texas hospital nurse charged with murder of patient

A former nurse at Tyler, Texas-based Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital and Christus Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler was charged with murder in a patient's death and is a suspect in at least two other care interventions that left patients in vegetative states, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

The 34-year-old man, William George Davis, is in custody at the Smith County (Texas) Jail with a bond of $2 million. Mr. Davis was a registered nurse whose license was suspended effective March 16, according to an order from the Texas Board of Nursing obtained by the Telegraph.

During a meeting in Austin, Texas, March 16, the board upheld four charges against Mr. Davis all based on incidents that happened while he was a registered nurse with Christus Mother Frances Hospital and on assignment at the Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital.

Mr. Davis engaged in "unskilled and/or unnecessary and/or inappropriate" interventions with three patients, one of whom died, according to court documents.

For each of these three patient situations, the patient's condition immediately deteriorated from a stable condition and resuscitative measures were required shortly after Mr. Davis intervened, the Telegraph reported. The first patient ultimately died and the latter two patients entered persistent vegetative states.

An autopsy of the first patient found they suffered a cortical acute ischemic infarction from an air embolism that contributed to their death, according to the charges.

In each of the first two cases, Mr. Davis did not communicate his intervention to the patient's assigned nurse and/or document the event, according to the formal charges.

The last incident occurred in January when Mr. Davis told Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital officials he entered a patient's room and silenced a beeping IV, the Telegraph noted. Mr. Davis later admitted to resetting a beeping IV, flushing the arterial line and pumping up the pressure bag.

Mr. Davis was terminated from the hospital Feb. 15, "related to his falsification of care events and his unethical practice related to failure to disclose interventions provided that may have impacted the outcome" of a particular patient, the charges read.  

The Tyler Police Department, which arrested Mr. Davis, planned a news conference for 2 p.m. April 11 "to announce details about a major ongoing investigation." 

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