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Doctor Said Drug Error Didn't Kill Iowan

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Police say a doctor has said that a medicine mix-up didn't contribute to the death of an 89-year-old man at the Rehabilitation Center of Des Moines.

The Des Moines Register says Russell Reel was mistakenly given two medications Saturday evening: a sedative and a narcotic painkiller. Police say a doctor estimated Reel died shortly before authorities were called at 7:45 a.m. Sunday.

A Rehabilitation Center spokeswoman declined to comment.

Police Sgt. Jason Halifax says a doctor who was notified immediately after Reel took the medications said the doses were too low to have been fatal. The doctor told police Reel would have died hours earlier if the medications were to blame.

The Polk County medical examiner he didn't perform an autopsy, saying he had no concerns about the case.

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