A UC San Diego doctor surrendered his medical license Monday amid accusations that he overdosed on powerful sedatives that he stole from patients.
Dr. Bradley Hay surrendered his license six months after the Medical Board of California launched an investigation into accusations that a UC San Diego nurse found Hay unconscious in a hospital bathroom with three syringes of Sufentanil protruding from his body.
NBC 7 Investigates broke the story of Hay’s alleged January 27, 2017 overdose last November.
Hay’s decision to surrender his license comes weeks after one of his patients, a local fisherman named Randy Dalo, filed a lawsuit against Hay and the Regents of the University of California, alleging that the patient was still awake during a major neck surgery.
Dalo’s neck surgery was scheduled on the same day Hay allegedly overdosed.
According to the lawsuit, on the day after the surgery, Dalo told his wife that he could remember seeing fuzzy, faceless people and a bright light during the six-hour procedure. Dalo said his mental condition began to deteriorate and he started having panic attacks almost every night, waking up to the same nightmarish flashback.
"All of a sudden and out of nowhere, I look up and it’s very hazy and cloudy but still there’s a bright light," Dalo told NBC 7 in an April 16 interview. "I see four figures but I can’t see their faces. I immediately try and say something, like 'Hey, I’m awake' but nothing comes out."
In the lawsuit, Dalo said hospital staff assured him that "nothing bad happened."
Then, in November 2017, Dalo read the NBC 7 Investigates story on Hay’s alleged overdose.
Dalo looked up the Medical Board’s report and realized that Hay was, in fact, his anesthesiologist that day. His initials appeared in the board’s report as the patient who had his sedatives taken that day. A nurse found Hay unconscious in the bathroom minutes after Dalo’s surgery began, the report read.
"In November when I read the article, it was just by chance," Dalo said. "[My wife and I] said, 'Hey, this happened at UCSD.' As I’m reading it I find out it was my date, my surgery, and my initials."
Up until that point, Dalo said he had no idea what was causing his night tremors.
"As soon as I saw my initials, I remember telling my wife this has got to be the reason. Maybe I did wake up during surgery," Dalo said.
Dalo then contacted an attorney to begin the legal process, he said.
"I start getting angry when I think that [UCSD] just hid this -- nobody contacted me; nobody told me, 'Hey, there’s a problem,'" Dalo said. "There was somebody else having surgery that day...That poor guy probably knows nothing about it."
NBC 7 reached out to Hay’s attorney but have not received a response.
A spokesperson for UC San Diego said they do not comment on pending litigation.