A former employee of HonorHealth has been charged with adding a poisonous substance to a drink belonging to an employee working in HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center operating room.
The Scottsdale city prosecutors say the incident occurred in January and formally charged Nelson Ramos in April. Ramos worked at the hospital as an anesthesia tech.
Scottsdale Police were called to Scottsdale Shea Medical Center on January 9 after a medical device employee complained of a burning sensation in his mouth, throat and stomach after drinking his coffee. The victim, Jeffrey Maxwell reported that he felt an intense burning in his mouth and throat. He removed the lid of his cup and smelled a strong odor of bleach. Maxwell is not employed by the hospital, but often is invited to participate in surgeries to assist surgeons with the medical devices.
Maxwell reportedly placed his coffee cup on a shelf outside an operating room. Between surgeries, he stepped out to take a drink. There was a panic moment of medical staff urging him to go immediately to the ER because they felt his drink had been poisoned. However, his patient was still undergoing surgery and he needed to finish the surgery, so his patient didn’t experience any lasting complications.
After going to the emergency room, hospital officials called the police and reviewed the surveillance video in the hallway. Scottsdale police were informed that there was video, footage of a staff member putting stuff in the drink.
Ramos later admitted to police that he poured a chemical into the coffee cup. He insisted it was a prank. However reportedly the two men had an altercation several months before outside of an operating room. The police report details that the liquid added to the coffee cup was Betasept, which is an antiseptic surgical scrub.
HonorHealth has reported Ramos is no longer employed at HonorHealth.
Maxwell experienced side effects for weeks after the incident and is concerned for the long-term impact this may have on his health.