3 additional Mount Carmel patients identified

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COLUMBUS — Three more Mount Carmel patients believed to have been given potentially lethal doses of fentanyl were identified Friday by their attorneys – including two who are alleged to have died on the same day – Oct. 9, 2017.

Medical records provided by their family’s attorneys show Timothy Fitzpatrick received 500 micrograms of fentanyl around 8: 24 p.m. on Oct. 9, 2017. Hours later, around 11:21 p.m., Beverlee Schirtzinger received a dose of 500 micrograms of fentanyl. Both were under the care of Dr. William Husel.

A pending lawsuit filed by the estate of Fitzpatrick shows he was brought to Mount Carmel hospital on Sept. 30, 2017 due to altered mental status. He was diagnosed with pleural effusions, was intubated and admitted into the ICU. His respiratory status did not improve much over the following week with aggressive therapy, the lawsuit states.

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“Ultimately the family was encouraged to withdraw further care and Timothy Fitzpatrick was prescribed, and administered, a lethal dose of Fentanyl.”

The lawsuit claims this was a “grossly inappropriate dose.”

An attorney representing the family of 75-year old Emma Bogan has identified her as being among the 34 patients at Mount Carmel hospital to have received a potentially fatal dose of fentanyl.

Attorney Gordon Evans says that Bogan was brought to Mount Carmel West Hospital on February 11, 2015 where she died, he says, after receiving 800 micrograms of fentanyl.

Evans says Bogan’s family got a call from a Mount Carmel administrator in January of 2019 alerting them that their mother’s death was part of a larger investigation into patients under the care of Dr. William Husel.

Husel was fired by the hospital on December 5. To date, 23 employees - including 14 nurses and 6 pharmacists have been placed on leave. Three additional employees including members of management were also recently placed on leave.

Evans says Bogan had originally been taken to Mount Carmel West by ambulance due to bowel complications. She had been at a rehab center for colostomy reversal. Her original listed cause of death was septic shock.

Evans says his firm is currently investigating three other cases with similar fact patterns.

Nine wrongful death lawsuits have been filed. Evans says he plans to file the complaint involving Bogan very soon.

Husel and his attorneys have declined to comment. The hospital has said that his doses were excessive and that it has enacted new policies to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.

Mount Carmel employees who have spoke to 10 Investigates have said that the problem is more complex than laying blame at the feet of the doctor, nurses and pharmacists who are named in several lawsuits. They tell 10 Investigates that the hospital lacked clear, concrete guidelines when it came to administering drugs to those in palliative care – especially those on ventilators.

This story will be updated.

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