In February, 1994, a 34-year-old cancer patient named Gloria Ramirez was rushed into the Riverside General emergency room having difficulty breathing. Soon after, more than a dozen nurses, doctors and patients began passing out from toxic fumes that allegedly came from the woman’s body. But what really caused this bizarre incident? Can science explain it? Or was it all part of a deeper conspiracy that people tried desperately to cover up?

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Notes:

https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4291

http://discovermagazine.com/1995/apr/analysisofatoxic493

” THE TOXIC LADY ” – Gloria Ramirez

Music:

Dexter Britain, The Tea Party

http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Dexter_Britain/

Kai Engel

http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Kai_Engel/

Alex Mason & the Minor Emotion

http://freemusicarchive.org/music/AlexMasonTheMinor_Emotion/

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2 comments on “Ep. 92 – The Smell of Death

  1. Ellis Miller Jan 17, 2019

    Listened to Ep. 92 just recently. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Detailed, enthralling, yet concise. You stand alone in nailing that balance. Anyway, near the end, the theory the hospital may have been running a meth operation keeping the requisite precursor chemicals mixed and stored on site and that the attending nurse had grabbed the wrong IV bag containing this mixture seemed quite plausible. The one detail/speculation not mentioned was the ER doctor who experienced no symptoms likely had a meth habit. Doctors work long hours…if one was employed as a male nurse, intern, or nurses aid (not actually familiar with proper titles and roles in the medical field) wherein money was tight, hours long, and pay reasonable but not on the scale of a doctor then a meth lab in the hospital to pay the student loans or earn significant extra income could be idea, as you pointed out, but you would definitely require partners and you and those partners would be smart to profile and recruit a trusted, politically influential doctor on staff just in case. As the right respected surgeon could, if necessary, cover and explain away almost any incident. Even keep the police at bay if it came to it. And because hospitals are terrified of malpractice lawsuits it’s not uncommon for the rare “Dr. Death” type to avoid prosecution, themselves, living a professional existence of impunity. If the doctor had a meth habit then the precursor chemicals which, depending on what remained to finish manufacturing, would still give one a concentrated meth high. Any person who was not a methamphetamine user would be overwhelmed by the fumes. Effectively, a toxic overdose. A habitual meth user wouldn’t feel any symptoms whatsoever especially in an ER that’s relatively open with an industrial filtration system. Just speculation but fact-based and in the final analysis there needs to be an explanation for why just the one doctor didn’t exhibit any symptoms. Were it DMSO he would have. Were it meth an overworked doctor with a speed habit wouldn’t have felt much AND as soon as the staff started to complain of an ammonia smell…the good doctor would have known precisely the cause and aside from a very high tolerance would have avoided taking too many normally deep breaths, perhaps covered his mouth, turned his head. A few subtle evasive techniques all that would be required.

    Great podcast. Compelling. Really enjoyed it. So did my daughter. Will recommend it to friends. And, again, I listen to several quality podcasts some of which are quite long, like “Hardcore History”. Quality is quality yet all things being equal have a great appreciation for the pace you sustain while still covering all the most interesting details. Thanks:)

    • NateHale Jan 17, 2019

      Thanks a lot! Hardcore History is one of my favorites as well.

      I definitely think there’s something to the meth theory in this case. You raise some interesting points. Unfortunately, at this point I think if there was a secret meth lab in the hospital, no one is ever going to get directly blamed for it.

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