Mount Carmel: 5 patients who received excessive doses of pain medication might have improved

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Mount Carmel officials announced on Friday they have identified an additional patient who received an excessive and potentially fatal dose of medication ordered by Dr. William Husel, and identified five cases where patients received an excessive dose of pain medication when there was still an opportunity for treatment to improve their immediate condition.

The additional patient brings the total of patients involved to at least 35, including 29 who received a potentially fatal dose of medication ordered by Dr. Husel, according to Ed Lamb, president and CEO of Mount Carmel Health System.

Lamb also said Mount Carmel identified five cases in which there is a possibility and concern that patients received excessive doses of pain medication when there was still an opportunity for treatment to improve their condition, and that they are reaching out to loved ones of these patients to share this information.

Lamb said officials continue to review the records of all patients who were treated by Dr. Husel and died in the hospital and are reaching out to family members and loved one of each patient.

“These events are heartbreaking, unacceptable and inconsistent with the values and care processes of Mount Carmel,” Lamb said.

Lamb said hospital officials are doing everything they can to understand what happened regarding the deaths of patients under the care of Dr. Husel and have made the following changes to ensure it never happens again:

  • Added a new protocol to set maximum appropriate doses for pain medication in our electronic medical record system;
  • Implemented a new escalation policy for deviations in our pain medication protocols;
  • Restricted the ability to bypass pharmacy review of medication orders;
  • Increased clinician education on standards and practices regarding end-of-life care; 
  • Implemented numerous other initiatives to ensure patient medication safety; 
  • Initiated a review of our culture of safety initiative to identify what needs to change; and
  • Engaged independent experts who are assisting us with this process.

Lamb said an internal investigation is ongoing and hospital officials continue to review the records of all patients who were treated by Dr. Husel and died in the hospital. 

He also officials are cooperating fully with authorities, including law enforcement.

Lamb said anyone with questions should call 614-265-7535. You can also visit this web page for more information from Mount Carmel.

“Providing safe, compassionate, people-centered care remains our highest priority – just as it remains the highest priority for more than 11,000 Mount Carmel colleagues who dedicate their lives every day to the people we serve. We continue to learn from this, and we will improve,” Lamb said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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