California Medical Malpractice: Dennis Quaid's Twins to Receive $500,000 for Heparin Overdose

June 23, 2009,

Movie star Dennis Quaid's twins will each get $250,000 as part of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's California medical malpractice settlement for the drug overdose that almost killed them when they were newborns.

Zoe Grace and Thomas Boone were born premature in 2007. While at the Southern California hospital, they were accidentally given 10,000 units of Heparin--twice--when babies are usually supposed to get just 10 units. The medication overdose occurred after a pharmacy technician stored the blood thinner in the wrong area. A nurse then administered the drug to the infants without checking to make sure the dose was correct. Another baby that was at the hospital at the same time as the twins also received a Heparin overdose.

The babies began bleeding. In "critical condition," they were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit until they recovered. Included in the terms of the California medical malpractice settlement, Cedars has consented to provide future medical care if the twins experience health issues because of the medication overdose. Court documents contend that the twins could also be subject to emotional injuries.

Although Cedars and the Quaids originally settled the civil dispute last year for $750,000, the movie star's legal team contended that the amount was not enough for the injuries to minors claim.

The Quaids are also suing drug maker Baxter Healthcare Corp. for their children's injuries. The couple, in their products liability lawsuit, have called the Heparin vials "unreasonably dangerous" and noted that the vials containing 10,000 units and 10 ml units have background colors on their medication labels that are in shades of blue. The drug manufacturer has recently revised its packaging of the Heparin vials.

Heparin Overdose
The Quaid twins are not the first babies to suffer injuries because of a Heparin overdose. In 2008, 17 babies born premature at a Texas hotel reportedly received Heparin overdoses. In 2007, three babies died in Indiana after they accidentally received adult doses of Heparin.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices reports that Heparin is one of eight medications that are involved in over 30% of all medication mistakes. US Pharmecopia says that over an 18-month period ending in July 2008, over 250 incidents occurred in the US involving Heparin and young children age 1 and under.

Quaid Babies Settle Drug Lawsuit, TMZ, June 19, 2009

Heparin Overdoses at Texas Hospital Under Investigation,, July 9, 2008

Dennis Quaid settles with Cedars-Sinai hospital over babies' overdose, NY Daily News, December 16, 2008

Related Web Resources:
Baxter Healthcare

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center