Prosecutors stated that Willaim Davis, a nurse who worked at Christus Mother Frances Hospital, injected patients with air during open-heart surgery. He injected seven total patients, with four of them dying as a result, the New York Times writes.
After jury deliberation, Tuesday’s court hearing was completed, Davis was found guilty of capital murder. He faces a possible death penalty for the murders.
Doctors were stumped by the mysterious cases of patients abruptly passing away after “promising” results post-surgery. When air is injected into a vein, especially an artery, it can travel through the bloodstream, causing brain damage.
Healthline defines this phenomenon as an air embolism. Air embolisms “can travel to your brain, heart, or lungs and cause a heart attack, stroke, or respiratory failure,” Healthline reports.
Doctors only realized the cause of the sudden deaths by reviewing CT scan data, which showed oxygen-saturated veins around the brain. According to the prosecution, one patient died within three minutes of Davis entering the room.
The defendant attorney for Davis, Phillip Hayes, countered with his hypothesis during the trial. Hayes cited “watershed stroke,” which occurs when the brain does not receive enough blood to crucial areas.
“I don’t know if there’s any evidence to show that it was foul play,” Hayes said before, also pointing out that the patients had previous underlying medical conditions.
A spokesperson for the Mother Frances Hospital told the New York Times, “The jury’s decision brings with it a range of emotions for our associates and, most especially, the people and families harmed by Will Davis.”
William Davis was first arrested in 2018 after being let off the nursing team by the hospital. Davis, who is 37-years-old, currently faces an $8.75 million bond while he awaits his sentence. According to Texas Penal Code, Chapter 12, Davis could face the death penalty and life in prison with these four capital murder charges.