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Calif. Hospital Reviews Deaths

May 7, 1998

GLENDALE, Calif. (AP) _ The hospital therapist who claimed to have killed dozens of terminally ill patients and later recanted treated at least seven patients whose deaths are not suspicious, hospital officials said.

Four retired doctors who reviewed 86 patient deaths at Glendale Adventist Medical Center determined that Efren Saldivar provided some care for seven of the patients, but found nothing unusual about their deaths.

``It just means that (Saldivar) was involved at some stage of their care at the end of their life,″ hospital spokesman Mark Newmyer said Wednesday.

The panel is interviewing family members who fear relatives may have fallen victim to Saldivar, a respiratory therapist who told authorities he suffocated or fatally drugged 40 to 50 patients.

In later television interviews, Saldivar recanted, saying he had lied because he was depressed, suicidal and wanted to be sent to death row.

Saldivar, 28, was fired with four other hospital employees. No charges have been filed.

Police were already reviewing the seven patient deaths, Newmyer said, based on their own review of hospital records. Investigators have not said how many hospital deaths they are investigating.

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