Dennis Quaid Family Files Lawsuit Against Heparin Manufacturer
First Published: December 4, 2007 8:33 PM EST Credit: Associated Press
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Dennis Quaid and his wife, Kimberly, filed a lawsuit against Baxter Healthcare Corp. over the drug Heparin, according to court papers obtained by Access Hollywood.Quaid’s twins, Thomas Boone and Zoe Grace, were accidentally given massive doses of Heparin, a drug manufactured by Baxter Healthcare Corp., which is used to prevent blood clots.
While a typical dose for an infant would be approximately 10 ml units of the drug, the babies were each administered a 10,000 ml unit dose by mistake at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, the lawsuit confirms.
Zoe and Thomas “were very critical for a while” after receiving the incorrect dosage of the drug, the Quaids’ attorney, Susan E. Loggans told the Chicago Sun Times.
The babies have reportedly recovered, but the family wants to stop this type of incident from happening to other children, Loggans told the paper.
In the lawsuit, the Quaids call the vials of Heparin “unreasonably dangerous” because the 10 ml unit and the 10,000 ml unit both had background colors on the label in shades of blue.
“Since a medical error in administration could lead to a dangerous or fatal result, the vials should have been in completely distinguishable size and shape,” the lawsuit states.
The suit further claims as a result of the “dangerous conditions” of the Heparin, “Zoe Grace Quaid and Thomas Boone Quaid, suffered and will continue to suffer injuries of a pecuniary nature.”
The Quaids are seeking $50,000 or more from the Baxter Healthcare Corp.
“We have not been served with a lawsuit in connection with this incident, so I can’t comment on the lawsuit,” Erin Gardiner, Director of Corporate Communication for Baxter Healthcare Corp., told Access Hollywood.
Despite not receiving the lawsuit , Gardiner said the mistake with the Quaid twins was due to “improper use.”
“This was not a product issue, this was a case of the improper use of a product. Heparin is one of the most commonly used drugs used in hospital settings across the country, and plays a vital role in the care and treatment of thousands of patients every day when administered properly,” she said. “Our thoughts are with the family, patients and the hospital team.”
On November 8, Thomas Boone was born at 8:26 AM, weighing 6 lb., 12 oz., while his sister, Zoe Grace, followed two minutes later, weighing 5 lb., 9 oz.
Shortly after the overdose, Cedars-Sinai Chief Medical Officer Michael L. Langberg issued a statement regarding the incident, however, did not mention the Quaid family by name.
“On November 18, three patients who were receiving intravenous medications as part of their treatment had their IV catheters flushed with a solution containing a higher concentration of heparin (a medication used to keep IV catheters from clotting) than normal protocol. As a result of a preventable error, the patients’ IV catheters were flushed with heparin from vials containing a concentration of 10,000 units per milliliter instead of from vials containing a concentration of 10 units per milliliter,” the statement read. “The error was identified by Cedars-Sinai staff, who immediately performed blood tests on the patients to measure blood clotting function.”
Langberg also said two patients were given protamine sulfate, a drug that reverses the effects of heparin. He also issued an apology.
“I want to extend my deepest apologies to the families who were affected by this situation, and we will continue to work with them on any concerns or questions they may have. This was a preventable error, involving a failure to follow our standard policies and procedures, and there is no excuse for that to occur at Cedars-Sinai,” Langberg added. “Although it appears at this point that there was no harm to any patient, we take this situation very seriously. We are conducting a comprehensive investigation, cooperating fully with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and will take all necessary steps to ensure that this never happens here again.”
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