Dennis Quaid Sues Drug Maker Baxter Healthcare Corp. in Newborn Twins’ Overdose

December 7, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

Movie star Dennis Quaid and his wife Kimberly filed a products liability lawsuit against drug manufacturer Baxter Healthcare Corp. for negligence in the Heparin overdose of the couple’s newborn twins, Zoe Grace and Thomas Boone. Heparin is a blood thinning drug used to prevent blood clotting.

The couple is seeking over $50,000 in damages. In the lawsuit, the couple claims that Baxter Healthcare was negligent because it packages different sized-doses of Heparin in similar vials, which sometimes makes it confusing for health care workers to distinguish one dosage size from another. As a result, Heparin is an “unreasonably dangerous” drug.

The products liability lawsuit says that the drug maker should have recalled the vials with excessively large doses after three babies died last year because of similar mix-ups at a hospital at Clarian’s Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Three other infants survived similar overdoses there.

Zoe Grace and Thomas Boone Quaid were given an extremely high dosage of the blood thinner while at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. They received 1000 the amount that babies are supposed to receive, which caused the twins to bleed out. Rather than receiving 10 units of Heparin, they received 10,000 units, which is usually the amount of Heparin given to adults.

Another baby at Cedars-Sinai was also was given too much Heparin. Fortunately, the Quaid twins and the third child survived. Cedars-Sinai has apologized for the mix-up, calling it a “preventable error.”

After the deaths and injuries in Indianapolis, Baxter Healthcare issued a warning to health care workers telling them that they need to check the labels of Heparin vials to prevent similar mix-ups.

The Quaid family lawsuit says that the company should have repackaged the different doses of medicine, and the warning sent to health care providers should have come with an “urgent” label so better safety procedures could have been implemented at the different hospitals.

Drug manufacturers must test their drugs before releasing them into the marketplace. They also must include the appropriate warnings of any risks or side effects. Drug makers are required to market and package all drugs in a manner that doesn’t mislead or confuse users or health care providers.

If a person is injured or killed because of the negligence of a drug manufacturer, the injured person or his or her family (if the victim is a minor) may have grounds to file a products liability claim or lawsuit against the drug manufacturer and any other negligent parties.

Dennis Quaid, wife sue drug maker, CNN.com, December 4, 2007

Dennis Quaid and wife sue drugmaker over heparin labeling, USA Today, December 4, 2007

Baby James: Surviving a Medical Mistake, WTHR, February 15, 2007

Dennis Quaid’s newborns reportedly harmed by medical mix-up, LA Times, November 21, 2007

Related Web Resources:

Baxter Introduces New Drug Safety Packaging for High Alert Medications, Baxter.com, December 3, 2007

Baxter Healthcare

Heparin Sodium Injection (PDF)

 
 

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