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Thread: Doctor William Husel Sued for Malpractice

  1. #26
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    https://www.dispatch.com/news/201901...mplicated-past

    Update on the William Husel background

    The Dispatch has started to piece together glimpses of Dr. William Husel?s past that include his glory days as a high school basketball star in Cleveland, legal trouble for detonating a pipe bomb at a small Catholic university in West Virginia, his interaction with nurses at the hospital and two marriages that ended in divorce.

    He has been thrust into the national spotlight and is the subject of a sweeping criminal investigation into dozens of deaths.

    He has not answered inquiries from police, has evaded reporters and invoked his Fifth Amendment right against incrimination when questioned by investigators from the state medical board.

    Dr. William Husel has been a mystery since being fired from his job and accused by Mount Carmel Health System of ordering excessive doses of pain medication for 34 patients. All of the patients died, but the health system does not believe the drugs caused six of the deaths.

    The Dispatch has started to piece together glimpses of Husel?s past that include his glory days as a high school basketball star in Cleveland, legal trouble for detonating a pipe bomb at a small Catholic university in West Virginia, his interaction with nurses at the hospital and two marriages that ended in divorce.

    Few people who know Husel have been willing to talk about him, and his attorney, Jim McGovern, did not return a call seeking comment for this story.

    ?Many of us are very sad for Billy and wondering what happened in that hospital and what his motives were,? said Brian Becker, Husel?s varsity basketball coach at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland. ?He has always portrayed himself in a positive light in our community, and that?s why it?s such a hard thing to wrap your head around. There are two sides to every story, and hopefully we get to hear from Billy.?

    Husel, now 43, was a captain on the St. Ignatius basketball team his senior year and graduated in 1994. He soon found himself in trouble after enrolling at what was then Wheeling Jesuit College in West Virginia.



    Husel pleaded guilty in 1996 to a federal misdemeanor charge after he stored a pipe bomb in a dorm room, a device he later used to blow up a trash can near a health and recreation center on the private school?s Wheeling campus.

    Husel tried to frame another person for the crime by planting bomb-making materials in that person?s car, according to U.S. District Court documents filed in the 23-year-old case.

    Decades later, a nurse who worked with him at Mount Carmel West hospital described him this week as even-keeled, someone who would be able to calmly direct staff members even if the hospital burned down.

    The nurse, a former Mount Carmel employee, said Husel was generally respected and popular, but that she heard doctors express frustration and concern among staff members over the dosages Husel was ordering for sedatives and paralytics. She and other nurses, she said, had made a verbal, informal complaint about the same issue to leaders in the unit.

    ?I have no explanation for what has occurred as far as what we?re hearing ... But I feel like something about him has changed because he, to my knowledge, he didn?t do that when I worked there, as far as overprescribing 20 times the normal dose of fentanyl,? said the nurse, who asked that her name not be published for fear that her career could suffer if she is linked with Mount Carmel or that she could face retaliation.

    In the pipe bomb case, it took federal investigators nearly two years to charge Husel in the Nov. 9, 1994, incident. Court records show that another man was charged in connection with the case in 1995 and appeared to be cooperating with investigators. That man also pleaded guilty.

    Husel was originally indicted in June 1996 on three charges that included malicious damage by means of explosive device, possession of an unregistered explosive device and unlawful making of an explosive device. He pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of improperly storing explosive materials and was sentenced to serve six months in a community confinement center, followed by one year of supervision. Court records don?t indicate if that time was served.

    Husel eventually moved to Ohio State University, where he graduated in 2000 with a degree in microbiology.

    He graduated in 2008 from the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (now called the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, with campuses in Athens, Cleveland and Dublin).

    From 2008 to 2013, Husel completed medical training, including an internship/residency and a fellowship in critical care at the Cleveland Clinic. A preliminary review of his medication-prescribing history there has turned up no concerns, clinic officials have said.

    He began working for Mount Carmel in 2013, serving as an intensive-care doctor, primarily at Mount Carmel West. He was removed from treating patients on Nov. 21 and fired Dec. 5.

    The nurse who worked with Husel said she liked to share shifts with him because he would explain issues such as why he prescribed certain medications, the settings on a breathing machine or the physiology behind new tactics he tried to stabilize patients.

    ?He?s highly intelligent, and he likes to educate,? said the nurse.

    She said she?s been told that the initial complaint on Husel was related to his angry reaction when nurses said they could not administer a medication that most nurses are not qualified to administer.

    The highest fentanyl dose she remembers giving under his order was 200 micrograms, which gave her pause, but she administered it after reviewing the patient chart and seeing that such a dose would not be unusual.


    If a doctor had ordered doses of 1,000 micrograms, as has been reported by lawyers representing some patient families, she said, ?I would think ?Have you lost your mind?? Did you mistype a zero???

    ?I wouldn?t ever give it, because I know I?d kill them,? she said.

    Husel, she said, was regarded as a ?cool, muscled, good-looking? doctor from the Cleveland Clinic who drew a core group of buddies.

    ?I thought he?s just full of himself because he?s intelligent and good looking and fit, but I never got ?God complex? from him,? she said, noting that he wore scrubs that showed off his upper arms, where he had a tattoo.

    Husel has been divorced twice and had no children with either woman. The first marriage aligns with part of the time he would have been working in Cleveland.

    The file in Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court shows the two were married in a Clark County courthouse in Las Vegas on Aug. 9, 2005. He was 29 at the time; she was 24.

    William Husel filed an original complaint for divorce in April 2008, citing ?incompatibility.? The complaint was dismissed that September. On July 16, 2012, the Husels filed a joint petition for dissolution. A final agreement reached that September shows Husel had to pay his ex-wife?s tuition, insurance and other expenses while she was a student.


    In September 2013, Husel married a woman who is a registered nurse in Ohio.

    That marriage was dissolved in Franklin County in April 2016. Records show the couple divided their properties, with his ex-wife keeping a home that she owned in Cleveland, as well as one in Dublin. Husel kept the property where he currently lives, in Liberty Township outside of Dublin.

    Becker, who stayed in touch with Husel up until the past five years, said he remembers Husel as a good student and an excellent basketball player. He said at times Husel?s quick wit and brashness would frustrate people, but overall his legacy in the St. Ignatius community is a good one and includes being charitable and dedicating his time to his alma matter.

    ?As a teacher and a coach, you want to be compassionate,? Becker said. ?But when they leave here you never know what path they are going to take or what they will become.?
    Damn The doctor in the investigation was accused of being a terrorist

  2. #27
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    https://www.nbc4i.com/news/local-new...sel/1740756321

    Update more on the Lawsuits

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) - Attorneys Kevin Kurgis and Peter Rodocker say Corrinnia Blake was admitted to Mount Carmel West Hospital last September suffering from cirrhosis of the liver.

    They say family members went home from the hospital that night feeling reassured that everything was OK.

    “They expected her to live a lot longer,” Kurgis says. “They felt like it was OK to leave... To go home and they could come back tomorrow and see their loved one,” says Rodocker.

    Kurgis and Rodocker say they now represent the families of Corrinnia Blake, 55, and 78-year-old Lora Stone.

    “In both of these cases, as soon as they got home they were notified they needed to get back to the hospital right away and things had taken a dire turn for the worse,” Rodocker said.

    Blake and Stone are the most recently identified Mount Carmel patients who died after being given excessive and potentially fatal doses of pain medication.

    Mount Carmel fired Dr. William Husel and has suspended 23 employees amid an ongoing internal investigation.

    Mount Carmel says it has identified at least 34 patients under Husel’s care who received excessive doses of pain medication.

    The hospital says 28 of those patients received potentially fatal doses.

    All of the patients are dead.

    Rodocker and Kurgis say they’re clients returned to the hospital to find their loved ones on their death bed.

    Family members felt pressured to make quick decisions about discontinuing life-saving measures.

    “They both told me the same story that they were put on the spot,” Rodocker says. “They didn’t know what to do. They weren’t expecting this. They knew that both their loved ones weren’t healthy but they certainly didn’t expect they were going to have to come back to the hospital that night and say goodbye.”

    Blake died Sept. 25, 2018, and Lora Stone died May 29, 2017.

    Blake’s family received a letter from the county prosecutor’s office saying a grand jury subpoena had been issued to collect information about Blake’s case.

    The letter said the family should expect to hear from a Columbus police homicide detective working on the criminal investigation.

    Kurgis says he expects to file lawsuits on behalf of both families within the next two weeks.

  3. #28
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    https://www.dispatch.com/news/201901...patients-death

    Here is more

    A Columbus attorney said Thursday that he has filed a lawsuit in the death of a woman who received an excessive painkiller dose at Mount Carmel West hospital more than three weeks after administrators first received a complaint about the doctor who ordered the drug.

    Rebecca Walls, 75, of the South Side, died shortly after midnight on Nov. 19 after Dr. William Husel ordered a large dose of fentanyl with a sedative, said Timothy Mahler of the Rourke & Blumenthal firm in the Brewery District.

    Mount Carmel has said that three patients died between Oct. 25, when they first received a formal complaint about Husel’s care, and Nov. 21, when he was removed from patient contact.

    He has now been accused by the hospital of ordering excessive doses of painkiller for at least 34 near deaths patients in intensive care, with the doses likely fatal in as many as 28.

    Mahler said Mount Carmel should have acted quickly to review the doctor’s prescribing history and remove him.

    If that had been done, he said, Walls never would have been under Husel’s care.

    “It would have been pretty easy to catch any questions on such an important issue like killing patients,” he said. ” ... It’s a big concern.”

  4. #29
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    https://www.dispatch.com/news/201901...t-mount-carmel

    More on the fallout given that more victims come forward to sue the hospital for not firing Dr. Husel sooner.

  5. #30
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    https://www.nbc4i.com/news/local-new...sel/1743550556

    a 9th lawsuit has been filed on Mount Carmel Hospital over the deaths.

    http://radio.wosu.org/post/mount-car...ailed#stream/0

    Plus "the System" not holding anybody accountable

  6. #31
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    https://www.nbc4i.com/news/local-new...ses/1746823711

    COLUMBUS (WCMH) -- The ability of Mount Carmel West and St. Ann's to continue receiving Medicare payments is in danger as a result of the scandal involving the death of patients under the care of Dr. William Husel.

    A letter sent to the two Mount Carmel hospitals Wednesday by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services informed the hospitals that they have been found not in compliance with Medicare standards for pharmaceutical services.

    We have determined that the deficiencies are so serious they constitute an immediate threat to patient health and safety. Enclosed is a list of all deficiencies cited.

    The letter states that Mount Carmel's Medicare provider agreement will terminate on February 24 unless it comes back into compliance with program requirements.

    The determination comes just weeks after Mount Carmel revealed that it has linked the death of 28 patients to excessive doses of fentanyl allegedly given by Dr. William Husel. Husel was fired by the hospital and suspended by the Ohio Medicaid program.

    The State Medical Board of Ohio suspended Dr. Husel's medical license on January 25.

    Mount Carmel issued the following statement:

    We continue to cooperate fully with the Ohio Department of Health, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and other regulators to investigate Dr. Husel’s actions and how we can ensure a tragedy like that never happens again. As a result of the Ohio Department of Health’s recent review, Mount Carmel West has been asked, and we anticipate Mount Carmel St. Ann’s will be asked, to submit action plans to improve pharmacy processes.

    Mount Carmel West has been (and we expect Mount Carmel St. Ann’s to be) placed in what is referred to as “immediate jeopardy” status for continued participation in Medicare & Medicaid. As is standard for this status, we will work through corrective action plans with CMS. If CMS is confident that our corrective action plans are sufficient, immediate jeopardy status will be removed. In the meantime, nothing changes our ability to treat patients covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

    We will submit Mount Carmel West’s action plan next week and have already taken steps to implement the plan. We will follow the same process for Mount Carmel St. Ann’s.

    We remain committed to doing everything in our power to address root causes and implement meaningful change. Already, we have increased education on standards and practices regarding end-of-life care, we added a new protocol to set maximum appropriate doses for pain medication in our electronic medical record system, we have a new escalation policy for deviations in our pain medication protocols, and we have implemented numerous other initiatives to ensure patient medication safety. We also have engaged independent experts who are assisting us with this process.

    Providing safe, compassionate, people-centered care remains our highest priority throughout this process. We continue to learn from this, and we will do better – our patients and their families deserve nothing less.

  7. #32
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    CMS has notified Columbus, Ohio-based Mount Carmel Health System that two of its hospitals involved in an investigation of patient deaths could lose Medicare funding due to serious pharmaceutical services deficiencies, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

    The findings of surveys the Ohio Department of Health conducted for CMS will not be released until the two hospitals ? Mount Carmel West in Columbus and Mount Carmel St. Ann's in Westerville ? have a chance to submit a plan of correction and CMS approves each plan.

    If Mount Carmel fails to create an acceptable plan, Medicare will not pay for services on or after Feb. 22 at Mount Carmel West or on or after Feb. 24 at Mount Carmel St. Ann's, according to letters sent by CMS obtained by The Dispatch Feb. 1.

    A Mount Carmel spokesperson told The Dispatch the health system will continue to cooperate fully with CMS, the state Department of Health and other regulators to "ensure that a tragedy like that never happens again."

    "We will submit Mount Carmel West's action plan next week and have already taken steps to implement the plan. We will follow the same process for Mount Carmel St. Ann's," the spokesperson said.

    The health system has taken corrective steps to ensure patient medication safety, including more employee education on end-of-life care practices; a new protocol to set maximum appropriate doses for pain medication in the EMR; and a new escalation policy for deviations in pain medication protocols.

    The health system faces investigations surrounding the actions of one of its former physicians, William Husel, MD.

    Mount Carmel said Dr. Husel ordered excessive doses of painkillers for at least 34 near-death patients in intensive care dating from at least 2015. The doses were likely fatal in 28 of those cases, hospital officials said.

    Dr. Husel, whom Mount Carmel fired Dec. 5, was suspended from the Ohio Medicaid program, and the State Medical Board of Ohio suspended his license.

    More articles on clinical leadership & infection control:
    23 Mount Carmel employees placed on leave amid patient death investigations
    Mount Carmel CEO: We should have acted faster with physician accused of fatal prescriptions
    Johns Hopkins All Children's has 3 weeks to correct safety lapses or lose Medicare funding
    https://www.beckershospitalreview.co...stigation.html

  8. #33
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    https://www.10tv.com/article/mount-c...-death-lawsuit

    Update a manager is named in the lawsuit

    COLUMBUS ? In addition to naming Mount Carmel Health System, Dr. William Husel and nurses and pharmacists, the latest wrongful death lawsuit alleges that Mount Carmel pharmacy manager Janet Whittey should have been aware of ?inappropriate and unsafe prescribing? at the hospital.

    Whittey?s employment status with the hospital is not clear.


    A hospital spokeswoman told 10 Investigates ?we do not comment on individual matters of employment.?

    Advertisement - Story continues below

    The hospital has, however, commented on an employee?s status in the past. It confirmed that it terminated Dr. Husel?s employment on December 5. It has announced on January 24 that it placed 23 employees ? including 14 nurses, 6 pharmacists ? and three additional employees

    A call and voicemail left for Whittey was not returned and no one answered the door at her home Thursday.

    The state board of pharmacy confirmed to 10 Investigates that Whittey notified the board this week to inform them that she was no longer considered the ?responsible person? or point of contact between the board of pharmacy and the hospital. A spokeswoman for the board said that Mount Carmel has 10 days to notify the board who the new ?responsible person? is for the hospital.

    The lawsuit alleges that Whittey "was aware of inappropriate and unsafe prescribing, approving, and administrating of Fentanyl by co-defendants, but failed to take action to prevent such inappropriate Fentanyl use from reoccurring.?

    The lawsuit was filed by the family of 82-year old Melissa Penix, who died on Nov. 20, 2018. Attorney Craig Tuttle, who represents her family, said that Penix had been brought to the ICU, had pneumonia and that her family was encouraged by Dr. William Husel to remove her from a ventilator. It was after that decision was made, Tuttle says, that Penix was given 2,000 micrograms of fentanyl ? the largest dose known to date.

    What?s more concerning, Tuttle says, is that Penix?s family was told that her death triggered the hospital?s internal investigation. Tuttle says that?s curious because the hospital has publicly acknowledged that it first learned of an allegation involving Dr. Husel?s care through a ?formal report? it received on October 25, 2018. The hospital would not remove Husel from patient care until Nov. 21, 2018. During that time period, three more patients ? including Penix and Rebecca Walls ? would die.

    ?They've admitted they knew. And they've admitted in the media that they should've done something sooner,? Tuttle said.

    To date, 34 patients are believed to have received potentially lethal doses of fentanyl. Twenty-eight of the 34 patients, the hospital says, likely received fatal doses. The other six received doses that ?went beyond providing comfort? but were likely not the causes for their deaths.

    Husel has been accused in 14 wrongful death lawsuits of ordering ?grossly inappropriate? and ?excessive? doses of painkillers for patients at Mount Carmel West and Mount Carmel St. Ann?s in Westerville.

    Various nurses and pharmacists have been named in the lawsuits accused of administering and approving the large potentially lethal doses.

    In response to this latest lawsuit, a hospital spokeswoman provided this statement:

    As we said before, we received a formal report on October 25, 2018, that related to Dr. Husel?s care. Based on what we learned about that report, we should have begun a more expedited process to investigate and consider immediate removal of Dr. Husel from patient care at that time. Dr. Husel was removed from patient care on November 21, 2018.

    Also, based on what this doctor did to these near-death patients, we understand that some of these families may be considering legal action. We've apologized to these families, we've apologized publicly, and we're continuing to cooperate with law enforcement and other authorities. We're also working to build additional safeguards so that a tragedy like this never happens again.

    Earlier this week, a Mount Carmel employee came forward to 10 Investigates the hospital?s lack of internal controls allowed what he called a ?systemic failure? to occur. The employee said that Husel was well-respected among his colleagues and he added that there were instances in which the pharmacy was unaware of how the high doses of painkillers were being used.

    10 Investigates asked the employee: ?So in other words, you wouldn?t have to tell the pharmacy you were doing a ventilator withdrawal??
    Employee: ?That?s exactly right.?
    10 Investigates: ?You could just say I need 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl??
    Employee: ?That?s exactly right.?

    The majority of the 19 patients who have been publicly identified have said through their attorneys that their loved ones were on a ventilator and that they were encouraged by Dr. Husel to remove life support. It was during that process that some of the patients were given high doses of fentanyl.

  9. #34
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    http://www.wcbe.org/post/husels-atto...ords-mt-carmel

    An Update

    An attorney for a former Mount Carmel Health System physician under investigation in connection with dozens of deaths says they're waiting to receive relevant records from the hospital as local authorities review the matter.

    Attorney Richard Blake said Friday it would be inappropriate for him to discuss details of William Husel's case. Mount Carmel says it found the intensive care doctor ordered potentially fatal doses of fentanyl for at least 28 patients. Husel was fired in December. Some families are questioning whether hospital employees wrongly used drugs to hasten patients' deaths. Husel and the hospital face at least 14 wrongful-death lawsuits, including one filed Thursday over the February 2015 death of 75-year-old Emma Bogan. Mount Carmel publicly apologized and put 23 other employees on leave.

  10. #35
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    https://www.dispatch.com/news/201902...ould-have-done

    Here are victims families coming forward over how they are handling the death situations at Mount Carmel hospital.

  11. #36
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    http://radio.wosu.org/post/ohio-medi...husel#stream/0

    An Update

    The State Medical Board of Ohio voted Wednesday to issue a citation to William Husel, which states that he could be disciplined for ordering "excessive" doses of pain medication for at least 34 patients at Mount Carmel Health System.



    The board is working to determine if they should permanently revoke Husel?s license, which was suspended January 25.

    The citation, obtained by WOSU, discusses six cases in which Husel ordered 1,000 micrograms or more of the pain medication fentanyl. It states that Husel?s acts constitute a ?departure from, or the failure to conform to, minimal standards of care of similar practitioners.?

    Four of those six cases are the subjects of wrongful death lawsuits against Husel and Mount Carmel Health System, filed by the families of the patients: Janet Kavanaugh, Melissa Penix, James George Allen, and Rebecca Walls. A total of 15 lawsuits have been filed so far.

    Husel could face civil penalties of up to $20,000, in addition to other disciplinary actions. He has 30 days to request a hearing with the State Medical Board, if he so chooses.

    Husel worked as an anesthesiologist and ICU doctor at Mount Carmel from 2013 until 2018. He was fired from the hospital on Dec. 5, 2018.

    The Franklin County Prosecutor's Office is currently reviewing the case.

  12. #37
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    https://www.nbc4i.com/news/local-new...ose/1780288312

    Update 2

    Medical records show that 82-year-old Melissa Penix died at Mount Carmel West Hospital on November 21, 2018, a few minutes after being given a 2,000 microgram dose of fentanyl.

    Attorneys representing her family say Dr. William Husel also prescribed two paralytic drugs (Nimbex and Vecuronium) for Penix shortly before having a conversation with family members about the prognosis of Penix.

    A statement from the law firm of Leeseberg and Valentine said:

    It appears this may have been done to create the appearance that the patient was comatose and unresponsive, in order to support recommendations that the family withdraw life support. Shortly after the paralytics were given, and the family was informed Ms.Penix was “brain dead,” the family agreed to withdraw life support. At that point, Dr. Husel administered 2000 mcg of Fentanyl and 10 mg of Versed through an IV push, causing the patient’s death within 5 minutes.

    Mount Carmel says it has identified 34 patients who were given excessive doses of pain medication on orders from Dr. Husel. It says 28 of those patients received potentially lethal doses.

    Former Franklin County Prosecutor Mike Miller says the additional information about the use of paralytics adds a new level of severity to potential criminal charges. “I think it changes everything. I think it becomes, of the ones I’ve heard so far, the worst fact pattern for the doctor.” “Could it be aggravated murder? If certain facts are met in the prosecutor’s mind, yes it could be.”

    Husel was fired by Mount Carmel in December. The state medical board, which suspended his license in January, notified Husel Wednesday that it plans to consider further action up to and including permanent revocation.

    This comes one day after the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved the Plans of Correction for Mount Carmel West and Mount Carmel St. Ann’s.

    The plans are now widely public, with at least one attorney hopeful they will lead to positive change at hospitals everywhere.

    “I think these things are going to make a difference,” said David Shroyer, who is representing three families in wrongful death lawsuits against Husel and Mount Carmel. “This is good that corrective steps have been taken. It’s good that this is a public document that is now out for circulation for other people to look at, and I would hope that other hospitals would look at this and compare these new policies that are going into effect to the policies that they have in their hospitals.”

  13. #38
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    https://www.nbc4i.com/news/local-new...ses/1792693329

    An Update

    A nurse who formerly worked in the Mount Carmel West Intensive Care Unit, alongside Dr. William Husel, said he had heard other nurses question some of the doctor's orders.

    "Anytime I heard anybody ask him about it, he would give them an explanation," said the nurse, who asked not to be identified. "He was our expert. He knew more than any of us about how the drugs work and all that."

    According to Mount Carmel leaders, Husel ordered excessive doses of medications for at least 34 patients, many of whom died as a result of the orders.

    Both Husel and Mount Carmel currently face 16 wrongful death lawsuits, while a criminal investigation is also ongoing.

    So far, no charges have been filed.

    The unnamed nurse said Husel was often the only doctor working the overnight shift, in the ICU. The nurse described him as somewhat of a mentor to colleagues.

    "If you're ever concerned about something with your patient, he would take the time to explain things to you if you had questions," the nurse said. "He would sit down if there was some slow times and he would talk to you about why we treat certain things, certain ways -- just background stuff you didn't really need to know for your job, but would help kind of explain why you're doing what you're doing."

    The nurse has not been named in any wrongful death lawsuits, but he said many of his former nursing colleagues have been named.

    "I know their intentions in terms of doing work for their patients, and how much they care about the work that they do and doing a good job," he explained. "It's hard to see people go through this."

    NBC4 has spoken with numerous doctors, nurses and pharmacists all of whom agree many of the doses of pain medication allegedly ordered by Dr. Husel, and administered to patients would likely cause death.

    Mount Carmel has declined to comment on individual cases. The hospital previously released the following statement:

    Mount Carmel recently reported to authorities, the results of an internal investigation regarding the care provided by a doctor who, until recently, worked with patients requiring intensive care.

    During the five years he worked here, this doctor ordered significantly excessive and potentially fatal doses of pain medication for at least 27 patients who were near death.

    These patients' families had requested that all life-saving measures be stopped, yet the amount of medicine the doctor ordered was more than what was needed to provide comfort.

    On behalf of Mount Carmel and Trinity Health, our parent organization, we apologize for this tragedy, and we're truly sorry for the additional grief this may cause these families. Our team has contacted these families and will continue to answer their questions and concerns as best as we can.

    Following our discovery, we addressed related patient safety issues. We removed this doctor from all patient care and terminated his employment. We reported this situation to the appropriate authorities, including law enforcement. We changed processes to help ensure this event does not happen again.

    We?re working hard to learn all we can about these cases, and we removed 20 hospital staff from providing further patient care while we gather more facts. This includes a number of nurses who administered the medication and a number of staff pharmacists who were also involved in the related patient care.

    Mount Carmel provides compassionate care that takes into account the decisions of patients and their families. We believe in helping patients who are near death die peacefully and naturally.

    The actions instigated by this doctor were unacceptable and inconsistent with the values and practices of Mount Carmel, regardless of the reasons the actions were taken. We take responsibility for the fact that the processes in place were not sufficient to prevent these actions from happening. We?re doing everything to understand how this happened and what we need to do to ensure it never happens again. We're joined in this effort by leaders of Trinity Health and we've asked outside experts to assist us.

    Our integrated team is identifying immediate root causes to ensure that our best-practice care guidelines are followed. So far, these include a new escalation policy for increases in pain medication dosing and a new approval process for pain medication at high doses during similar situations.

    For many years, Mount Carmel has worked to reduce medical errors and create a culture in which staff report concerns. In particular, over the past 18 months, we have engaged in ZeroHarm and High-Reliability training to stop preventable medical errors?work that puts systems into place to make the care we provide highly reliable and consistent. This focus on high-reliability helped us to discover these events because one of our employees spoke up and reported a safety concern.

    Despite our meaningful progress in building a high-reliability organization, we recognize we have more work to do. We're committed to making sure our employees work in an environment where they have the right to speak-up?without fear of retribution.

    As with everything we do, we will continue to rely on our values to guide us in responding to these events. We will continue to do the right thing, to act with integrity and be transparent.

    While these actions have brought shock and hurt to our organization, this will not define us.

    Our more than 11,000 employees at Mount Carmel are outstanding professionals committed to safe, high-quality, people-centered care. Together, we will find strength in the values and beliefs we?re known for.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the involved patients and their families, and we ask for their forgiveness.

    We will learn from this, and we will do better?because our patients and their families deserve our very best.

  14. #39
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    http://radio.wosu.org/post/nineteen-...armel#stream/0

    Now 19 lawsuits have been filed against the hospital.

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    https://www.dispatch.com/news/201902...-board-hearing

    A former Mount Carmel Health System doctor has requested a hearing before the State Medical Board of Ohio as the panel considers disciplining him over allegations that he prescribed inappropriately high doses of painkillers to critically ill patients.

    Dr. William Husel also asked for reports from expert witnesses and other records and that any recommendations from a hearing examiner be deliberated in public. He submitted the request through his attorneys on Friday.

    Husel, 43, of Liberty Township near Dublin, was fired in December from his position as an intensive-care-unit doctor at Mount Carmel, where he had worked since 2013. Mount Carmel executives have said he ordered excessive painkiller doses for 35 ICU patients dating back to at least 2015, with 29 of the doses potentially fatal. All the patients died.

    All the patients were at Mount Carmel West hospital in Franklinton except one, who was at Mount Carmel St. Ann?s in Westerville.

    Both hospitals faced losing their eligibility to receive Medicare payments based on January inspection reports that showed pharmacy-services deficiencies creating ?immediate jeopardy? to patient health and safety, according to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

    Policies and procedures had been updated to address the deficiencies, and letters from the federal agency on Friday inform the hospitals that new inspections show the immediate jeopardy of patients is no longer a concern. Threatened Medicare termination dates have been rescinded; however, the letters say, the hospitals remain out of compliance in pharmacy services.

    Mount Carmel said in a statement Monday that the policy and procedure updates addressed all concerns raised in the initial inspections and that the pharmacy conditions will be further addressed by extensive staff training to be completed March 6.

  16. #41
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    Now Criminal Charges land on Dr Husel

    An Ohio doctor accused of ordering excessive and potentially fatal doses of opioids to dozens of near-death patients is facing multiple counts of murder, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

    William Husel voluntarily surrendered to authorities in Columbus and was charged in 25 deaths following a six-month investigation by the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office. The patient deaths exposed a stunning case of medical oversight and alleged medical malpractice, and called into question how repeated failures potentially involving 30 or more employees could have gone unchecked for so long.

    Image: William HuselWilliam HuselFranklin County Sheriff's Office
    "I've been a prosecutor for 22 years and have not seen a 25-count indictment during those years," Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said at a news conference.

    Columbus Division of Police Chief Thomas Quinlan added that "this breach of a doctor's oath is vile ... and that begins the process of holding the accused criminal responsible."

    Husel, 43, was employed with the Mount Carmel Health System, one of the largest in central Ohio, from 2015 to 2018, which cover the years of the investigation. He was first suspended Nov. 21 and then fired two weeks later.

    A motive for why Husel allegedly ordered such large amounts of fentanyl remains unclear, officials said. Many of those who died were older and already seriously ill.

    Download the NBC News app for breaking news

    "This is not a murder case," Husel's attorney, Richard Blake, told NBC affiliate WCMH. "I can assure you there was never any attempt to euthanize anyone by Dr. Husel. At no time did he ever have the intent to euthanize anyone."

    Husel pleaded not guilty and his bond was set at $1 million during an arraignment Wednesday afternoon. Officials confirmed that he had already surrendered his passport, and Blake said Husel "wants to clear his name at trial."

    Husel faces 15 years to life in prison per count if convicted. O'Brien said that the doses ordered by the doctor in the 25 deaths "could not support any legitimate medical purpose." Although nurses and pharmacists followed Husel's orders, the doctor remains the main focus of the criminal investigation, he added.

    In a statement following Husel's arrest, Mount Carmel Health System said it "will continue to implement meaningful changes throughout our system to ensure events like these never happen again."

    Related

    NEWS
    How did a doctor allegedly order fatal doses of painkillers connected to 28 deaths?
    The hospital first revealed details about the case Jan. 14, after Franklin County prosecutors and Columbus police began interviewing dozens of witnesses and reviewing medical records. Prosecutors and police said they were investigating the deaths of at least 29 patients who may have been given large fentanyl doses to hasten their end.

    The investigation took several months, O'Brien said, because detectives had to familiarize themselves with the various medical roles and conclude whether Husel was violating standard protocol.

    Since many of Husel's patients were not alert when they were in intensive care, then "if someone could not feel pain, there would be no legitimate medical reason to administer" the potentially fatal doses of fentanyl, O'Brien said.

    The State Medical Board of Ohio suspended the intensive care doctor's medical license in late January, saying its decision was based on his alleged "failure to meet acceptable standards regarding the selection of drugs, violations of the minimal standards of care and failing to cooperate in a board's investigation."

    Husel was granted a hearing set for July to appeal the medical board's decision.

    He faces at least 19 wrongful-death lawsuits in the case, while eight others were settled, according to reports in May.

    In one suit, an attorney for the family of Melissa Penix, an 82-year-old woman who went to Mount Carmel West for stomach pains in November, said she was given 2,000 micrograms of fentanyl about five minutes before she died.

    The lawsuit said Husel had told the family before her death that she was brain dead and encouraged them to agree to end her care. In Ohio and every state but seven, physician-assisted deaths are illegal.

    In other cases, patients were given doses exceeding 500 micrograms of fentanyl.

    Lawyers say up to 100 micrograms of the synthetic opioid would be normal for a patient, depending on their size and the circumstances. Fentanyl is typically stored in 50 microgram bottles.

    Amy Pfaff's mother, Beverlee Schirtzinger, 63, went to Mount Carmel for a liver biopsy in October 2017 before her health declined and she died within 11 hours of arriving. Pfaff's lawyers say Husel ordered 500 micrograms of fentanyl for her.

    Image: Beverlee SchirtzingerBeverlee Schirtzinger died in October 2017 after being treated at Mount Carmel under William Husel, her family's attorneys say.Courtesy of Amy Pfaff
    On Wednesday, Pfaff recalled her mother as being a happy person who would have wanted to live.

    "Why, why, why did you do this? What was your reason?" Pfaff said she would ask Husel if she could, adding that she hopes "justice is served and he faces the consequences of his actions."

    Also named in the various civil suits are the Mount Carmel Health System and some pharmacists and nurses. What remains unclear is how Husel could circumvent apparent rules that would require him to order medications through an in-house pharmacy team and then convince a nurse to administer the drug.

    Husel's wife, Mariah Baird, is also named in at least one of the suits as administering 800 micrograms of pain medication to a 65-year-old woman who died in 2015. The lawsuit says she's an employee at the hospital.

    The majority of the patients died at Mount Carmel's primary care hospital known as Mount Carmel West in Columbus, although at least one case occurred at Mount Carmel St. Ann's hospital in Westerville.

    Hospital officials said earlier this year that 30 employees, including nurses and pharmacists, were placed on leave, while 18 others with ties to the case no longer work there ? with many of them having already left in prior years. The officials have said they would be "open and honest about what happened," and have installed safeguards to prevent a recurrence.

    The hospital's chief pharmacy officer, Janet Whittey, who was named in the Penix lawsuit, left in early February. Calls to her home for comment went unanswered.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...-doses-n970026

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    https://www.nbc4i.com/news/local-new...ase/2055326167

    COLUMBUS (WCMH) - The daughter of one of the alleged victims of Dr. William Husel said on Wednesday she was "satisfied" that he was charged with 25 counts of murder.

    "I hope that after all of this people are aware that this sort of thing can happen," said Amy Pfaff, the daughter of Beverlee Schirtzinger, who is one of the 25 alleged victims. "I hope that hospitals nationwide can have policies in place should there ever be a question on medication that it is questioned or some sort of red flag."

    RELATED: PHOTOS: Alleged victims of Dr. William Husel

    Pfaff and attorneys, Gerald Leesburg and Anne Valentine of Leeseberg & Valentine, held a news conference on Wednesday, June 5 to discuss the 25 murder charges against Husel.

    Schirtzinger was a patient at Mount Carmel West back in October 2017. She went in for a liver biopsy. While receiving treatment, her health started to decline.

    Under Husel's orders, Schirtzinger was given 500 micrograms of fentanyl. She died 10 minutes after it was administered.

    "We all share the same grief. The same loss by the same person," said Pfaff.

    The law office has filed suit on behalf of 17 of the 25 alleged victims of Husel.

    Leesburg said he agrees with the Franklin County Prosecutors discretion to not seek the death penalty against Husel. He explained that the burden of proof is greater for a criminal trial than a civil trial.

    "We're going to respect the decision of Ron O'Brien," said Leesburg. "I happen to believe in separate apart from that, that there was and there will be proven calculated evidence of calculation. To me, it's unfathomable that a licensed physician... could be entering orders that everybody has acknowledged that are beyond the pale and are unjustifiable."

    Pfaff said towards the end of the meeting that she would not go to his arraignment because she did not want to see him in person.

    When asked about Husel's motive, Pfaff said: "It doesn't matter. It happened."

    Now that the criminal case is underway, Leeseberg said he will continue the process to settle in a civil suit against Mount Carmel and Dr. Husel.

    A status hearing is scheduled for June 18.

    Husel faces at least 19 wrongful death lawsuit in this case. Eight others were settled.

  18. #43
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    https://fox8.com/2019/06/05/mount-ca...ns-himself-in/

    COLUMBUS, Ohio– An Ohio critical-care doctor was arrested and charged with murder Wednesday in the deaths of 25 hospital patients who authorities say were deliberately given overdoses of painkillers.

    Dr. William Husel, who was fired from the Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System in December and stripped of his medical license after the allegations came to light, turned himself in for an arraignment on 25 counts of murder.
    Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien said other medical staff who were interviewed were treated as witnesses, and he doesn’t anticipate anyone else will be charged.

    A lawyer for Husel has said he didn’t intend to kill patients. Messages seeking comment were left for that attorney.

    Mount Carmel Health System found Husel ordered potentially fatal drug doses for 29 patients over several years, including five who may have been given that pain medication when there still was a chance to improve their conditions with treatment. The hospital system said six more patients got doses that were excessive but likely didn’t cause their deaths.

    Many of the deceased patients were seriously ill. Any potential motive remains unclear.

    Police Sgt. Terry McConnell said none of the affected families police spoke with felt what happened was “mercy treatment.”

    Husel was fired after concerns arose, though Mount Carmel has said it should have expedited the process of investigating and removing Husel, who worked there for five years.

    The health system’s officials said Husel wasn’t removed from patient care until four weeks after concern about him was raised last fall, and that three patients died during those weeks after getting excessive doses he ordered.

    After Husel was charged, Mount Carmel officials pledged to continue cooperating with authorities.

    More than two dozen wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against the doctor and the hospital system. Families alleged their loved ones were negligently or intentionally killed by painkiller overdoses ordered by Husel. Some also have questioned whether they were misled about the graveness of the patients’ conditions.

    Mount Carmel has publicly apologized and already settledsome of the civil cases for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Hospital system officials has said all employees who were part of administering medication for affected patients have been removed from patient care as a precaution.

    There were 48 nurses and pharmacists under review were reported to their respective boards. Thirty of those employees were put on leave, and 18 no longer work there, including some who left years ago, officials said.

    Husel previously was a supervised resident at the Cleveland Clinic, where his work is under internal investigation. It said a preliminary review found his prescribing practices there were “consistent with appropriate care.”

    The State Medical Board has suspended his license. Records show no prior disciplinary action against him, and the board won’t disclose whether it received any complaints that didn’t result in such action.

  19. #44
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    https://www.dispatch.com/news/201906...-criminal-case

    Victims come forward in the Dr. Husel Murder criminal case

    Dr. William Husel was charged in the deaths of 25 patients who died under his care in the Mount Carmel health system. All of the patients were treated at the former Mount Carmel West in Franklinton except one, who was treated at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s in Westerville. The health system said 10 other patients received excessive doses of painkillers under Husel’s care, but no charges were filed in those cases. Mount Carmel officials said they believe the drugs did not cause the deaths of six of those patients.

    Emma Bogan, 75, of the Far West Side died at 1:07 a.m. on Feb. 11, 2015, two minutes after she was given 400 micrograms of fentanyl and 4 micrograms of Versed. Bogan had also been given another dose of fentanyl a few hours before. She was taken to the hospital on Feb. 10 with septic shock. Medical records indicate that a doctor explained the grave situation to the family and they decided to take her off the ventilator.

    Jan Marlene Thomas, 65, of the Far West Side was brought to the hospital in respiratory arrest on Feb. 28, 2015 and was diagnosed with multi-embolic stroke. She was given 800 micrograms of fentanyl at 12:11 a.m. on March 1 and died at 12:42 a.m. Medical records indicate her family has asked that she be removed from the ventilator.

    Norma J. Welch, 85, of the South Side. She arrived at the hospital on April 30, 2015 for pogressive weakness after a fall. She was given 500 micrograms of fentanyl at 11:57 on May 3, then 400 micrograms of fentanyl at 12:10 on May 4. She died 20 minutes later. Her family arrived at 12:05 a.m., between doses.

    Joanne S. Bellisari, 69, of the West Side. She arrived at the hospital April 22, 2015 after a seizure. The family decided to withdraw care on May 10, medical records indicate. She was given 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl at 11:32 p.m. on May 10 and died eight minutes later.

    Ryan Hayes, 39, of Lancaster arrived at the hospital on April 2, 2017 in cardiac arrest. He was given 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl at 10:53 p.m. on April 3 and another 1,000 micrograms at 11:15. He died at 11:30 p.m. He was also given two doses each of Dilaudid and Versed.

    Timothy Fitzpatrick, 55, of Downtown, arrived at the hospital on Sept. 30, 2017 with suspected chronic heart failure. Medical records indicate that Husel ordered 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl on Oct. 9, but the pharmacist mentioned the fentanyl shortage and the doctor agreed to 500 micrograms. He was given the drug at 9:03 p.m. and died at 9:10.

    Beverlee Ann Schirtzinger, 63, of Grove City arrived at the hospital on Oct. 2, 2017 with a coughing spell that led to finding of probable bronchogenic cancer. She was given 500 micrograms of fentanyl and 4 mg of Versed at 11:24 p.m. on Oct. 9, and died 10 minutes later.

    Michael Walters, 57, arrived at the hospital on Oct. 6, 2017 with acute brain swelling and respiratory failure. The family was encouraged to change his status to do not resuscitate, and agreed. He was given 500 micrograms of fentanyl at 4:11 a.m. on Oct. 11, and died eight minutes later.

    Robert P. Lee, 70, of Upper Sandusky was the one patient who died at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital. He arrived at the hospital on Oct. 12, 2017 in cardiac arrest. Medical records indicated that a conversation was held with his spouse who agreed not to resuscitate if his heart stopped. Lee was given 500 micrograms of fentanyl at 8:01 a.m. on Oct. 13, and died at 8:20.

    Thomas Mathews, 61, of Columbus, arrived at the hospital on Nov. 12, 2017 due to sepsis. He was given 500 micrograms of fentanyl at 8:28 p.m.on Nov. 20, and died at 10:40 p.m.

    Listen to the latest on the Mount Carmel investigations:


    Danny Mollette, 74, of Columbus, arrived at the hospital Dec. 5 due to unresponsiveness related to low blood pressure. He received 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl at 9:37 p.m. and 2 mg of Dilaudid and 4 mg of Versed at 9:40. He died at 9:41.

    Larry Brigner, 70, of the South Side arrived at the hospital on Dec. 10, 2017 due to an altered mental state related to a history of cancer. A doctor’s note said he discussed Brigner’s grim prognosis, and the family decided to withdraw care. He was given 500 micrograms of fentanyl and 4 mg of Versed at 10:36 p.m., and died 5 minutes later.

    Janet Kavanaugh, 79, of Grove City arrived at the hospital on Nov. 25, 2017 with weakness and confusion. She was admitted to the intensive care unit in cardiac arrest. Medical records indicate her family decided to withdraw care. She was given 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl at 5:45 a.m., and died at 6:03.

    Brandy McDonald, 37, of London, Ohio was admitted to the hospital on Jan. 11, 2018 with increased liver enzymes. On Jan. 14, she was given 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl and 6 mg of Versed at 9:51 p.m., and died at 10:05.

    Francis Burke, 73, arrived at the hospital on Jan. 13, 2018 with a brain bleed. Burke was given 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl at 12:02 a.m. on Jan. 14 and died at 12:10.

    Charles Longstreth, 67, of Newark, arrived at the hospital March 23, 2018 in cardiac arrest. On March 25, he received 6 mg of Versed at 9:29 p.m. and 500 micrograms of fentanyl at 9:30 p.m. He died at 9:45.

    Jeremia Hodge, 57, of the Hilltop, arrived at the hospital on April 1, 2018 in cardiopulmonary arrest. She was given 800 micrograms of fentanyl and 6 mg of Versed at 9:35 and 9:36, respectively, and died at 9:41.

    James Allen, 80, of Franklinton, was taken to the hospital on May 24, 2018 because of septic shock and was transferred to the ICU on May 28. He was given 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl and 6 mg of Versed at 11:20 p.m. on May 28, and died 20 minutes later.

    Troy Allison, 44, of Franklinton arrived at the hospital on July 15, 2018 in cardiac arrest. He was given 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl at 1:25 a.m. that day, and died three minutes later.


    Corrinnia Blake, 55, of Marysville, arrived at the hospital on Sept. 17, 2018 with abdominal pain and fever. She was given 500 micrograms of fentanyl and 6 mg of Versed at 8:25 p.m. on Sept. 25 and died an hour later.

    Bonnie Austin, 64, of the West Side, arrived at the hospital on Sept. 30, 2018 due to a collapsed lung. She was given 600 micrograms of fentanyl and 6 mg of Versed at 11:22 p.m. that night, and died at 11:53 p.m.

    James Nickolas Timmons, 39, of Hilliard, who went by Nick, arrived at the hospital on Oct. 22, 2018 with an altered mental status due to drug abuse. On Oct. 24, he was given 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl and10 mg of Versed at 3 a.m. and 10 mg of hydromorphone and 10 mg of Versed after that. He died at 3:13.

    Sandra Castle, 80, of Columbus, arrived at the hospital on Nov. 10, 2018 in cardiac arrest. She received 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl at 10:57 p.m. and 10 mg of Versed at 10:58 on Nov. 13. She died at 11:20 p.m.

    Rebecca Walls, 75, of the South Side arrived at the hospital on Nov. 13, 2018 with increased difficulty breathing. She developed a blood clot and was transferred to the ICU. The doctor talked to the family on Nov. 19 and they agreed to provide comfort care. She was given 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl and 10 mg of Versed at 1:26 a.m., and died six minutes later.

    Melissa Penix, 82, of Grove City arrived at the hospital with difficulty breathing on Nov. 15, 2018 and was transferred to the ICU for further monitoring. Medical records indicate she was given paralytics, though there was no documentation of a need for them. Her family asked that the ventilator be removed. She was given 2,000 micrograms of fentanyl and 10 mg of Versed at 10:48 and 10:40 p.m., respectively, and died at 10:53.

  20. #45
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    https://www.10tv.com/article/former-...llion-2019-jun



    Update William Husel is pleading Not Guilty and has a bond hearing.

    . COLUMBUS, Ohio (WBNS) – A grand jury has indicted Dr. William Husel on charges stemming from the deaths of 25 patients in an overdose scandal that has rocked the Mount Carmel Health System and the families of nearly three dozen patients.

    Both the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office and the Columbus Division of Police have been investigating since early December – when the hospital fired Husel after concerns were raised about his patient care. Husel pleaded not guilty on all counts during his arraignment Wednesday afternoon. His bond was set at $1 million.



    Attorney says Husel was providing "comfort care"

    BENNETT HAEBERLE

    PUBLISHED: 06/05/19 08:31 AM EDTUPDATED: 06/06/19 12:00 AM EDT
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (WBNS) – A grand jury has indicted Dr. William Husel on charges stemming from the deaths of 25 patients in an overdose scandal that has rocked the Mount Carmel Health System and the families of nearly three dozen patients.

    Both the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office and the Columbus Division of Police have been investigating since early December – when the hospital fired Husel after concerns were raised about his patient care. Husel pleaded not guilty on all counts during his arraignment Wednesday afternoon. His bond was set at $1 million.


    To date, 35 patients have been identified as having received excessive doses of pain medication – 29 of the patients, the hospital says, received potentially lethal doses of pain medications.


    Prosecutors and police updated reporters on the status of its investigation Wednesday morning - focusing on the deaths of 25 of the 35 patients who died under Husel’s care.

    COMPLETE COVERAGE: Mount Carmel patient deaths investigation

    In most cases, the highly powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl was administered to intensive care patients as they were being removed from ventilators.

    In interviews with 10 Investigates, several family members acknowledged that their loved ones were in bad shape – and may have died anyway – but claim they were not consulted about the large doses of pain medications that were about to be administered to their loved ones. Many of them died after receiving doses of fentanyl while others were given fentanyl along with other drugs like dilaudid, versed and paralytics like vecuronium.

    Attorneys representing these patients have claimed that the combination of drugs like fentanyl and versed or dilaudid accelerated these patients’ deaths or that the use of paralytics gave an inaccurate picture of the patients’ true conditions – making it appear as though they were brain dead.


  21. #46
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    The opioid abuse allegations are also at play for Dr Husel given how the latest investigation s are going.

  22. #47
    Moderator Jumaki15's Avatar
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    Ohio. What the fuck are we doing?

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumaki15 View Post
    Ohio. What the fuck are we doing?

    The story sounds like the German Nurse convicted for killing patients at hospitals.

    http://mydeathspace.com/vb/showthrea...-Two-Hospitals

  24. #49
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    https://www.dispatch.com/news/201906...f-each-patient


    Here is more on Husel and how a trial would play out though.

  25. #50
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    https://www.10tv.com/article/45-mill...-case-2019-jun

    $4.5 million in settlements over deaths tied to Dr. Husel in murder case
    $4.5 million in settlements over deaths tied to Dr. Husel in murder case LOCAL NEWS
    Dr. William Husel appears in court on June 5, 2019 (WBNS-10TV)



    PUBLISHED: 34 MINUTES AGOUPDATED: 2 MINUTES AGO
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) ? Mount Carmel Health System has reached nearly $4.5 million in settlements so far over the deaths of patients who allegedly received excessive painkiller doses ordered by a doctor now charged with murder.

    At least 29 wrongful-death lawsuits have been filed against Mount Carmel and now-fired intensive care doctor William Husel, who pleaded not guilty to murder charges in 25 deaths that occurred between 2015 and 2018.


    His lawyer has said Husel was providing comfort care to dying patients, not trying to kill them.

    Advertisement - Story continues below

    Mount Carmel has reached settlements in seven cases to date, plus two that didn't involve lawsuits.

    "It is our hope that these settlements will bring some measure of closure and comfort to the families," Mount Carmel said in a statement. The hospital system has also publicly apologized for the patient deaths.

    The settlements range from $200,000 to $700,000. In most cases, patients' families get two-thirds or less of the payouts from the hospital's insurers. The rest goes to their attorneys.

    The families and the lawyers aren't commenting on the settlements, citing related confidentiality agreements.

    The hospital system has asked a court to pause proceedings in the other lawsuits while Husel's criminal case is pending. Mount Carmel said it is working with families' attorneys in the civil cases "to resolve these matters fairly" outside of court.

    Mount Carmel might have an interest in settling cases before Husel's potential criminal trial to avoid the risk that information exposed during such a trial would point to more liability by the hospital system ? a scenario that would "add zeroes to the settlement checks," said Michael Benza, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

    Mount Carmel found that Husel ordered potentially fatal drug doses for 29 patients over the past several years. It said six more patients got doses that were excessive but did not likely cause their deaths.

    Inspectors found that the doctor overrode a dispensing system to access large doses of drugs in many of the cases. Mount Carmel has since tightened its drug policies and access .

    All but one of the patients were at Mount Carmel West hospital in Columbus. The exception, 70-year-old Robert Lee of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, was treated at Mount Carmel St. Ann's in suburban Columbus after suffering a heart attack in October 2017.

    Lee's death was among the 25 that led to murder charges. His relatives didn't sue, but in probate court filings associated with a $675,000 settlement, they alleged that medical records show Husel ordered an excessive dose of fentanyl for Lee before having an "end of life" discussion with the family.

    "Based on that, it appears that Dr. Husel made the unwarranted decision to end Mr. Lee's life before he had discussed that with the family," the filed statement said. "While family members agreed that life support would be withdrawn, they did not agree to anything that would have hastened the death of their loved one."

    Mount Carmel won't comment on specific cases, except to note that the patient in the most recent lawsuit, 55-year-old Drake Mills, wasn't among the patients it found to be affected by Husel's alleged misconduct.

    Mills died in June 2018, about two weeks after abdominal pain sent him to the emergency department, according to the lawsuit. It alleges he was given a lethal combination of fentanyl and other medication in conjunction with efforts to withdraw a ventilator, but doesn't specify who ordered or administered the drugs in question.

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