Expert witness testimony weighs in on nurses tied to Mount Carmel fentanyl cases

Local News

FILE – This Jan. 15, 2019 file photo shows the main entrance to Mount Carmel West Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Authorities are set to give an update on the criminal investigation of an intensive care doctor accused of ordering possibly fatal painkillers for dozens of Ohio hospital patients. The Franklin County prosecutor and Columbus police scheduled a news conference Wednesday, June 5, to discuss the investigation of Dr. William Husel. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh Huggins, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)- Testimony continued on Thursday as the state works to gather expert testimony on nurses who allegedly had a role in the potentially excessive doses of pain medication at Mount Carmel West and Mount Carmel St. Ann’s. More than two dozen nurses could face disciplinary action from the Ohio Board of Nursing.

For the third day Sarah Blowers, a Certified Nurse Practitioner answered questions from both the state’s attorneys and attorneys for several of the nurses. Several patient’s cases were reviewed and in every case Blowers testified that the nurse should have questioned the dose of medication being given.

“He should have known they were potentially harmful and should’ve questioned the order,” said Blowers.

In one case Blowers was asked if she would ever administer a dose of fentanyl that high, she said “anytime in my career I would not administer it.”

Attorneys for several of the nurses were able to cross examine the witness on Thursday. They questioned her on how much pain these patients would have been in. In one case attorney’s cited a progress note from Dr. William Husel, the doctor at the center of this case. The note listed several “painful conditions” but Blower insisted you can’t know for sure how much pain they were in.

The attorney’s also looked at death certificates of patients where natural causes was listed as the cause of death, saying “There is no listing of a drug overdose…”

The testimony is scheduled to continue Friday morning. The administrative hearings, where this expert testimony will be used, are scheduled to begin next month. These nurses face disciplinary action or even loss of their licenses. None of the nurses have been criminally charged, Husel is currently facing 25 counts of murder. 

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