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Hospital worker likely accidentally overdosed on anesthetic

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By Bobby Kerlik
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A night-shift worker at a Washington County hospital died after apparently inhaling an anesthetic drug, officials said yesterday.

Samuel William Parks, 29, of McDonald was found dead in a storage maintenance closet about 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Advanced Surgical Hospital in North Franklin, police Chief Richard Horner said.

Horner said police have ruled out foul play and that the death appears to be an accidental overdose. Police are awaiting toxicology results from the coroner's office.

Police found a bottle of inhalant anesthesia on the floor by the body, Horner said.

Washington County Coroner S. Timothy Warco set the time of death between 3 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

Parks did security and housekeeping work at the hospital.

Horner said Parks' mother called a work supervisor after Parks did not return home from work. He was working a 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. shift, Horner said.

The hospital's chief executive officer, Lloyd Scarrow, said he found Parks' body.

"We would ask that everyone be respectful of the Parks family and respectful of our staff who are in mourning," Scarrow said. "It's a horrible accident, and we're all reeling from it now."

Parks had worked part-time at hospital for approximately a year, Scarrow said. It opened about a year ago, has about 100 employees and is owned by private investors.

Doctors perform mostly outpatient surgeries, including orthopedic and plastic surgeries, though the hospital can accept inpatients if necessary, Scarrow said.

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