COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Three additional employees of Mount Carmel Health System have been suspended amid the ongoing investigation into potentially lethal doses of pain medication given to patients in the intensive care unit.
Spokeswoman Samantha Irons said in a statement, “We have now placed 23 colleagues on administrative leave, including members of the management team.”
The Health System had earlier announced that Dr. William Husel had been fired. Dr. Husel is accused of ordering excessive doses of pain medication for at least 34 patients. Mount Carmel says 28 of those cases involved potentially fatal doses. All but one of the patients were at Mount Carmel West Hospital. The one other case was at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s in Westerville. All of the patients are dead.
Irons said the investigation is ongoing, “We continue to investigate whether there is any other information that should have led us to investigate sooner into Dr. Husel’s practices.”
Eight lawsuits have been filed in the past two weeks by families of patients who died.
That includes the family of Jan Thomas who was given 800 micrograms of fentanyl at the direction of Dr. Husel. Thomas died about 30 minutes later.
Chris Thomas said Tuesday that learning his mother did not necessarily die naturally has ripped open the wound again. “The circumstances have obviously changed,” Thomas said. “My mom didn’t actually pass, she was murdered, so it really hurts a lot more.”
Thomas described his mother as “the greatest person on earth.” Her death on March 1, 2015, is the earliest case of those publicly identified so far.
“I don’t know if my mom was the first, there may be more out there but the fact is that I felt my mom was the guinea pig… the crash test dummy and had they had measures in place there, 33 families would not have to share my pain,” Thomas said. “I really, really feel bad for the other families to the point where I almost feel guilty because my mom started this and it should have ended there too.”