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Heparin

Two infants dead, four injured by blood-thinning drugs administered at hospital

Monday, September 18, 2006 by: NewsTarget
Tags: Heparin, blood thinner, dangerous drugs


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(NewsTarget) Two premature infants were killed, and four others were hospitalized in serious condition after employees at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis accidentally administered an adult dose of a blood thinning drug to the children.

Three of the surviving babies were in stable condition this morning, and a fourth had been transferred to Riley Hospital for Children in critical condition, according to hospital officials.

Methodist Hospital CEO Sam Odle says the six infants were all in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit when they were given adult doses of the blood thinner Heparin, which is used to prevent blood clots and keep premature infants' IVs from collapsing. The drugs arrive at the hospital pre-mixed, and the adult and infant doses of Heparin are packaged similarly, Odle says.

Pharmacy technicians apparently put the wrong vial of the drug in a computerized drug cabinet, and nurses gave the wrong dose to the infants accidentally.

Consumer advocate Mike Adams calls the incident inexcusable, and says hospital errors are responsible for nearly 100,000 deaths in the United States every year. According to Dr. Gary Null's report, "Death By Medicine," medical errors at U.S. healthcare facilities cost $2 billion every year, and roughly 1.3 million patients are affected by procedure errors.

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