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Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Gives Actor Dennis Quaid’s Twins Massive Heparin Overdose

The newborn twins of movie star Dennis Quaid are recovering from a massive overdose of a blood-thinning drug that they received while at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.

The two-week old twins, Zoe Grace and Thomas Boone, and another child were accidentally given 10,000 units of Heparin, instead of the 10 units that babies are supposed to receive.

TMZ.com reports that the babies started “bleeding out” after they were given the overdose.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is one of the top hospitals in the United States. On Wednesday, the hospital apologized for the mistake, which it called a “preventable error.”

Heparin is an anticoagulant that is used to prevent blood clots and clean IV tubes. According to Dr. Michael Langberg, Cedars-Sinai chief medical officer, the three babies are recovering and were treated with a drug that reverses Heparin’s effects.

A patient who is injured because he or she was given too much or not enough medication could have grounds to file a medical malpractice case against the doctor and/or hospital that made the medical error.

Last year, three premature babies died at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis when they were given 1000 times the strength of Heparin than they should have received. The mistake happened because a pharmacy technician had put vials with the stronger dose of Heparin in the wrong cabinet and no one noticed the mistake.

The label for the correct dose should have said “Hep-lock” instead of “Heparin,” and the medication was dark blue in color, instead of baby blue. Three other babies, who were also given too much Heparin, survived.

Approximately 1.5 million people a year are injured because of medication errors that occur in hospitals, nursing homes, and doctors’ offices. A 1999 study showed that some 7,000 deaths occur because of drug errors. Many errors are preventable.

Poor handwriting on prescriptions, pharmacy error, mix-ups at hospitals, and prescribing the wrong drug because its name is similar to the correct drug are some common causes of drug errors.

Medical malpractice cases involving drug errors are complex cases to prove. This is why you need an experienced medical malpractice attorney who is experienced in handling cases involving medical errors and drug errors.

Dennis Quaid twins recovering from medical overdose, Reuters, November 22, 2007
Drug errors injure more than 1.5 million a year, MSNBC.com/AP, July 20, 2006
How drug mix-up that killed 3 babies happened, MSNBC.com, September 22, 2006

Related Web Resources:

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Heparin: Overdose and Contraindications, Rxlist.com
Families upset over new Heparin overdose cases, MSNBC.com, November 22, 2007
In Massachusetts, Altman & Altman LLP has successfully handled many kinds of medical malpractice cases over the years. Contact Altman & Altman LLP today and ask to speak with one of our Massachusetts medical malpractice attorneys.