Former anesthesiologist Frédéric Péchier, suspected of 30 poisonings, 12 of which were fatal, in clinics in Besançon, said that only one of these cases was indeed poisoning, but without admitting responsibility, the prosecutor's office said on Friday. Frédéric Péchier is suspected of having polluted, between 2008 and 2017, the IV bags of patients in two private clinics in Besançon to cause cardiac arrests, then demonstrate his skills as a resuscitator, but also to discredit colleagues with whom he was in conflict.
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He was heard on Tuesday and Wednesday by the investigating judge in charge of the case. According to the public prosecutor of Besançon, Etienne Manteaux, "Mr. Péchier answered all the questions relating to the 30 cases of poisoning" during these hearings. "According to the accused, only one case out of the 30 cases constitutes poisoning," the rest being medical errors.
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This case dates back to 20 January 2017 and represents the last case to be found in court. One patient, anesthetized by Dr. Péchier himself, had suffered a serious adverse event (SAE). "This is a proven poisoning since local anesthetics were found in the bag of paracetamol that was to be administered to his patient according to him," the prosecutor detailed during a press conference.
"The conclusion of the investigation of the judicial investigation is approaching"
This topical product is not normally used in the anesthetic process. According to the prosecutor, Mr. Péchier argued that there are daily errors of ampoules containing local anesthetics in hospitals in France. According to him, these medical errors would partly explain the overdoses observed. Dr. Péchier explained that he was implementing what he had learned during his internships as a medical intern, the prosecutor continued.
According to him, the ex-anesthesiologist strongly disputed all the experts' conclusions, denouncing a pact of anti-Péchier doctors within the Besançon clinics to blame him, rather than admitting internal dysfunctions. He denounced schemes on the part of the investigators, the investigating magistrate and experts to blame everything on him, Manteaux said. In the light of Dr. Péchier's latest statements, the investigating judge plans to have additional checks carried out. "The conclusion of the investigation of the judicial investigation is now approaching," the prosecutor concluded.