COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Mount Carmel Health System has acknowledged that it was slow to respond to the first formal report that raised concerns about Dr. William Husel.
According to a statement from the hospital, a formal report on Dr. William Husel was received Oct. 25, 2018, and he was removed from patient care on Nov. 21, 2018.
Mount Carmel officials say they are now aware of three patients who died between Oct. 25 and Nov. 21 after receiving potentially fatal doses of medication ordered by Husel.
“We received a formal report on Oct. 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,” hospital officials say.
The hospital also said seven additional patients have been identified as having received excessive doses of pain medication ordered by Husel bringing the total number of patients affected to 34.
Husel is accused of ordering excessive and potentially fatal doses of fentanyl or other pain medications for near-death patients.
A mounting number of lawsuits say some of the patients died within minutes of receiving doses of 600 to 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl. Plaintiffs attorney say a normal dose would be 50 to 100 micrograms.
Attorney David Shroyer, who has filed lawsuits on behalf of two victim’s families, says he believes Mount Carmel should be looking at every death in the Intensive Care Unit during Dr. Husel’s tenure.
“The fact that there were three more deaths after that shouldn’t be a surprise if the doctor is continuing to have privileges,” Shroyer said. “We’ve talked about red flags that have gone off that these were excessive doses and those were ignored. Now we have a chain of command that was apparently ignored.”
According to hospital officials, of the seven newly identified patients, one received an excessive and potentially fatally dose, while the six other patients received excessive doses that were not likely the cause of their deaths, but exceeded a level of providing comfort.
“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,” the hospital stated Thursday.