The number of Mount Carmel West patients who received potentially fatal doses of fentanyl has climbed from 27 to 34.
Of those 34, 28 allegedly received lethal doses, reports 10TV.
Most shockingly: Three patients died after the hospital received a formal report containing allegation against the doctor who was ordering the doses of the pain med.
Mount Carmel hospital officials admit they did not act quickly enough to remove Dr. William Husel, who was leading the administration of “grossly inappropriate” amounts of fentanyl.
Mount Carmel officials received the formal report on October 25. It wasn’t until Mount Carmel received a third report on November 21 that they fired Husel.
“…we should have begun a more expedited process to investigate and consider immediate removal of Dr. Husel from patient care at that time,” wrote Mount Carmel. “We are sorry for this tragedy, and we will continue to investigate how we responded to this report and whether there is any other information that should have led us to investigate sooner into Dr. Husel’s practices.”
In wake of the tragedies, new policy changes are rolling out at Mount Carmel.
Now, nurses and physicians at Mount Carmel West Hospital cannot administer medications during the removal of a ventilator without prior approval from the pharmacy, reports 10TV.
This is the process during which the near-death or intensive care patients are believed to have been given lethal doses of the painkiller.
The youngest person to be identified as one of the alleged victims is 37-year-old James “Nick” Timmons from Hilliard.
So far, four wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against Husel, various nurses, pharmacists, and the hospital.
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Husel has been fired and 14 nurses and six pharmacists have been removed from patient care, reports 10TV.
Mount Carmel has also implemented a new escalation policy for increases in pain medication dosing and a new approval process for high pain med doses in “like situations.”
In a video statement on January 14, Mount Carmel CEO and President Ed Lamb has apologized to patient families and acknowledged that the procedures in place were insufficient for preventing these events from occurring.
Another video was released on January 22 addressing Mount Carmel Health System’s 11,000 employees.