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Hospital finds additional patients given excessive doses of pain meds during investigation

Rachel Duvall January 24, 2019

by WSYX/WTTE

Thursday, January 24th 2019

 
 
 


The number of patients who received excessive and potentially lethal doses of pain medications ordered by a Mount Carmel doctor has risen to at least 34 after the hospital said Thursday they identified an additional seven people.

Dr. William Husel, who was fired by the hospital after an investigation, is accused of overdosing patients and causing their deaths. Several families have filed a wrongful death lawsuit, while others are working with lawyers to prepare them. 

After the latest report, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost released a statement calling on the State Medical Board to immediately suspend Husel's license. "It looks like we may have a killer with a medical license and access to fentanyl on the loose," Attorney General Yost said. "It's time to yank his license and let police do their work."

Mount Carmel Health Systems released a statement Thursday saying they are continuing to investigate and recently identified the additional patients. They say one of them received a potentially fatal dose, while the other six received excessive doses "that went beyond providing comfort" but likely didn't cause their deaths. The hospital says they've contacted loved ones of all the patients.

They also say they anticipate they will find more patients as they continue their investigation and review the records of every patient Dr. Husel treated who died in the hospital.

The Columbus Police homicide cold case unit is also investigating Husel as they look into possible criminal charges. Husel is accused of ordering potentially fatal doses of pain medication to patients who were near death and receiving intensive care. Mount Carmel says they received a formal report about Husel on October 25, 2018, and now say they should have begun "a more expedited process to investigate and consider immediate removal of Dr. Husel from patient care at that time."

Husel was removed on November 21, 2018. The hospital says they know of three patients who died between October 25th when they received the report and November 21st when Husel was removed from patient care. An additional 20 pharmacists and nurses who worked with Husel were also removed from patient care while the hospital investigates.

This story continues to develop and will be updated as more information becomes available.