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Blood thinners

17 Babies Nearly Killed by Blood Thinner Overdose at Texas Hospital

Sunday, November 30, 2008 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: blood thinners, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) At least 17 newborn infants received massive overdoses of blood thinning drugs, possibly leading to the deaths of two of them.

The children received a major overdose of the blood thinner heparin in the neonatal intensive care unit of Christus Spohn Hospital South in Corpus Christi, Texas. The drug is commonly used to clean out intravenous (IV) tubes in hospitals, and is also administered to patients to prevent their blood from clotting in IV lines. Instead of the usual infant dose of 10 units per milliliter, however, the 17 newborns were instead given an adult dose of 10,000 units per milliliter.

This is the same error that occurred to actor Dennis Quaid's newborn twins, nearly killing them. In that case, the error occurred because the labels of the adult and infant doses looked very similar. In this case, a hospital investigation concluded that the error occurred in the hospital pharmacy.

"Christus Spohn confirms that an error occurred during the mixing process in our hospital pharmacy," said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Davis. "The error was unrelated to product labeling or packaging."

According to the hospital, no adverse effects were reported from the overdoses.

"The attending neonatologist states that at this point, there are no identifiable adverse affects directly caused by heparin," Davis said. "Thirteen of the infants remain in our NICU for reasons unrelated to heparin. Twelve of the infants are in stable condition and one remains in critical and unstable condition. We are closely monitoring their progress."

Two of the infants eventually died, however - twins who had been admitted to the unit due to their premature birth. The hospital claims that the deaths were unrelated to the drug, but the family remains skeptical.

"The babies were roughly four weeks' premature," said family attorney Bob Patterson. "They should not [have been] at high risk. They had difficulty breathing at first, not all that unusual. The doctor assured the parents that the newborns' lungs were fully developed."

The family is considering whether to file a lawsuit against the hospital.

Sources for this story include: blogs.usatoday.com; www.themedguru.com

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