COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio hospital system, where dozens of deceased patients have received excessive doses of painkillers, dismissed 23 nurses, pharmacists and managers, claiming that leadership was in the process of switch. doctor accused of having ordered the drugs.
The announcement made by the Mount Carmel Health System in the Columbus area comes five weeks after this physician, William Husel, pleaded not guilty to murder for murder in 25 deaths, which constitutes the One of the biggest lawsuits of its kind against an American health professional.
The recently dismissed employees include five members of the management team of doctors, nurses and pharmacists, said President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Lamb in a statement.
Mount Carmel stated that the other 18 people who were dismissed were nurses and pharmacists on administrative leave during its internal review.
An employee stays on administrative leave and eleven have the opportunity to return to work if they take additional training, Lamb said. Mount Carmel did not specify whether these employees were nurses and pharmacists who had administered or approved the excessive doses.
Authorities said the nurses and pharmacists involved were not being prosecuted, although dozens of others were reported to their respective professional councils for review and disciplinary action. potential.
Mr. Lamb also announced that he was resigning this month and that the Mount Carmel Clinical Services Manager is retiring in September, paving the way for new leadership that could "facilitate healing and help restore recovery." community trust ".
Mount Carmel fired Husel in December and concluded that he had ordered potentially lethal doses to 29 patients who had died in recent years, including five who could have received the drugs while it was still possible to 39, improve their treatment conditions.
The hospital system reported that six other patients had received excessive doses but probably not the cause of their death.
His criminal lawyer said that Husel provided comfort to the dying patients, without trying to kill them.
Husel, 43, has been charged with murder only in cases involving 500 to 2000 micrograms of fentanyl, a potent pain reliever, in amounts well above the usual doses.
Mount Carmel tightened its drug and access policies and apologized publicly, noting that he should have expedited his investigation. He acknowledged that Husel had been removed from his patient's care only four weeks after the concern about it had been raised last fall and that three patients had died during those weeks after receiving excessive doses that he had prescribed.
The hospital system has resolved some of the lawsuits for wrongful death, reaching nearly $ 4.5 million in regulations to date.
"We are deeply sorry for the additional grief and frustration this has caused and are working to find a reasonable settlement with the affected families," Lamb said in a statement on Thursday.
Twenty-two lawsuits are pending.
In the new cases filed this week, Husel's lawyer in civil cases again asserted that they should be suspended because of the criminal case.
A magistrate of the court had previously refused to stop the proceedings but prevented the plaintiffs' lawyers from pursuing a sworn affidavit of Husel. Attorney Gregory Foliano says that this is not enough to protect Husel's right to a fair trial, in part because plaintiffs can always ask information from other Mount Carmel employees.
The hospital also wants the prosecution to be suspended and has filed objections to the magistrate's decision.
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