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Shocking updates in the Mount Carmel West fentanyl death scandal

614now Staff

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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.

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COVID-19 puts Columbus Arts Festival on hold until next year

Mitch Hooper

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Citing the COVID-19 outbreak, the Greater Columbus Arts council board has voted to cancel the 2020 Columbus Arts Festival, formerly scheduled for June 12-14.

"As much as we desperately want to go on as planned, we recognize that we must put the health and safety of our patrons, artists, performers, vendors and sponsors first," said Tom Katzenmeyer, President & CEO of GCAC, in a press release. "As we’ve watched the COVID-19 pandemic unfold, with all the uncertainty it holds for the near future, we could not in good conscience hold a festival that would bring artists and visitors from 38 states and four countries, and more than 500,000 people within close proximity to each other on the downtown riverfront."

In past press conferences, Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, has said that we could see the impacts of COVID-19 lasting into May with a gradual drop-off. Currently, Columbus has seen many events in May be canceled including Taco Fest and Six One Pour, both citing public health taking priority over the festivals.

This announcement comes as one of the first events in June to officially cancel due to the Coronavirus. Though it won't be taking place this year, Katzenmeyer remains hopeful for the future of Arts Fest.

"I will miss this energy. I will miss these people. I will miss being a part of this experience, and yes, I will miss fresh lemonade shake ups. But we made this decision to ensure that we all remain healthy and able to enjoy all these wonderful experiences at next year’s Arts Festival. And that is where I have my heart set."

In Central Ohio, June also plays host to the Memorial Tournament, the Pride Parade and Festival, and the Creekside Jazz and Blue Fest. 614Now will have more updates about upcoming events as they become available.

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Aunt Flow pivots manufacturing to help with the COVID-19 outbreak

Mitch Hooper

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Of the many things COVID-19 has exposed a need for, one of the largest topics of conversation has been face masks. From nurses in hospitals to grocery store clerks, these are becoming equally important as they are difficult to find. However, Claire Coder, founder and CEO of Aunt Flow, is pitching in her manufacturing resources to assist in the crisis.

In a Facebook post on March 26, Aunt Flow announced that it has been working around the clock to produce FDA-approved face masks for those in need.

"We are here for YOU. People helping people. PERIOD," the post stated.

https://www.facebook.com/goauntflow/posts/2641440882845957?__xts__[0]=68.ARBUMS95oPw2ZCc9mPy8pgjRK0I51qu-SBsit1FXkGvUkkR2p82F4yiscUHdZ2-ZG-rPDXhpsr75Lb6dfWhaC8TlLSko_Ny5MMYnY_z37TwaEm2CZoHkPA-YHSo3E2e9HpiyGPpzd7kocPW-tx676xDTWWcAtmQC1Vcc6Io_-JPyWSGnpqCYNfpc-5kG6VbjwpXRdnJ6TSAE0sN277g8-DvBZOs0n4WtEKb_sADA6aOA6Gw1FLlzhVXhsoBHtGpbcEFBrK8Xk7IRd_nxbFgBBI_4ZH5avE1kzTtv2ATlJcAdZHgInmjkcz5sG4deeIJeUN2NZP-jaIL_6doeThzbtO4iJtHf&__tn__=-R
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By The Numbers: How COVID-19 has impacted Ohio thus far

Mitch Hooper

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While these numbers are subject to fluctuate and grow throughout the upcoming days and weeks, Ohio.gov has released its current numbers on COVID-19 and its impacts.

Currently, as of March 31, 2020, here are the reports:

  • 2,199 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio
  • 585 total hospitalizations
  • 198 ICU admissions
  • 55 total deaths

The median age of these cases was reported at 53 with a sex split at 49% males and 51% females with a less than 1% not reporting their sex. The age range, however, goes from one year olds to 99-years-old.

614Now will update this story with more information as it becomes available.

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