Hospital gets €16k fine after baby overdose mishap

A LOS Angeles hospital was fined $25,000 (€16,200) by state health regulators for giving overdoses of a blood thinner to three babies, including the newborn twins of actor Dennis Quaid.

The California Department of Public Health have cited Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre and 10 other hospitals for violations that caused or were “likely to cause serious injury or death to patients”.

Cedars spokesman Richard Elbaum said the hospital has cooperated with state investigators and intends to pay the fine.

The fine comes two months after the state issued a 20-page report blaming the hospital for giving Quaid’s premature twins, Thomas Boone and Zoe Grace, and another unidentified baby, 1,000 times the intended dosage of heparin in November. All three children recovered.

The hospital has apologised to the patients’ families and said it has taken steps to provide more training to staff and review all policies and procedures involving high-risk medications.

The error occurred because a pharmacy technician stored the higher heparin doses in the wrong place and a nurse who administered the drug to the babies failed to verify the amount.

Quaid described the near-disaster as a harrowing scene with “blood everywhere ... They were working on [my son] Boone whose belly button would not stop bleeding, and while they were trying to ... clamp it, blood squirted across the room about six feet and landed on the wall”.

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