Arrest affidavit alleges Tyler, TX nurse purposely introduced air into patients' arterial lines

William George Davis (Source: Smith County judicial records)
William George Davis (Source: Smith County judicial records)
Published: Apr. 11, 2018 at 7:08 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 12, 2018 at 5:33 AM CDT
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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - An arrest affidavit is providing new details about the arrest of an East Texas nurse accused of murder, alleging he deliberately inserted air into patients' arterial lines, and a second victim has been identified by family.

The document, obtained Wednesday by KLTV, gives details about the arrest of William George Davis, 34. Davis is charged with murder and the Texas Board of Nursing has suspended his license.

The Texas Board of Nursing recently suspended Davis' license. Davis was a registered nurse at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler. The TBN is investigating allegations that Davis tampered with patients at the Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital in Tyler.

Two of those patients died and two others were left in a vegetative state. The board is also investigating other similar cases involving Davis.

Tyler Police Department officers began investigating on Feb. 8 when they were notified by CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital of possible criminal activity by one of their employees.

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The affidavit describes seven incidents involving patients at the Peaches and Louis Owen Heart Hospital at CHRISTUS  Mother Frances, five of whom suffered significant injuries and two who are deceased.

The document names one person who died, Christopher Greenaway, 47, and family members confirm that the second person who died is Perry Frank, age 61, of Grapeland. Frank died on June 22, 2017. He was the band director at Grapeland High School.

Two others who were left with severe injuries, Joseph Kalina, 58, and Pamela Henderson, 63. It also lists several unnamed patients - a 58-year-old man, a 54-year-old man and a 56-year-old man.

The affidavit says officials discovered in several of the cases that disturbances in patients' arterial line waveforms matched up with his presence in the hospital room. An arterial line is a thin catheter inserted into an artery.

A radiologist also reviewed the cases and found that there was air in the patients' brains where there should be none.

" ... preliminary conclusion found air was deliberately introduced into the arterial circulating using the patient's arterial lines," the affidavit notes.

Doctors who were consulted stated that each patient was recovering from surgery and was responding as expected.

In one incident, the document alleges Davis entered the room of a patient who had had a coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Davis was allegedly in the room for a little over a minute. Davis initially told a nurse he had been in the room to reset a pump alarm on an IV pump. Officials say that statement was later discovered to be untruthful and that later investigation led hospital staff to believe he "manipulated the arterial line."

The patient "suffered permanent and debilitating injuries as a result of this medical crisis" and remains bedridden, the document states.

In another incident, hospital officials found air in one patient's brain after Davis allegedly manipulated her arterial line. She suffered stroke-like symptoms and now has limited mobility and visual problems as a result of her injuries.

Ultimately, an M.D. determined that the events described in each patient's situation shared "concerning similarities."

Tuesday night William George Davis, 34, was booked into the Smith County Jail on a charge of murder.

Tyler police held a press conference Wednesday afternoon discussing the case.

"CHRISTUS approached the Smith County District Attorney and the Tyler Police Department with concerns that a nurse may have been involved in intentionally causing harm to several patients at one of their hospitals after learning that patients were experiencing unexplained symptoms inconsistent with their treatment and recovery," TPD said.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families who have been affected by these acts," Police Chief Jimmy Toler said. "The assistance and cooperation from the Smith County District Attorney and CHRISTUS have been extremely beneficial during the initial stages of this investigation."

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