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Two Hospital Babies Die of Preventable Drug Error

Two infants died at an Indianapolis hospital last weekend after receiving a fatal dose of the anti-coagulant Heparin. Four others also received potentially fatal doses and are currently in critical condition.

“This was human error – that’s all,” Sam Odle, chief executive officer of Methodist Hospital said.

The two babies who died were two-day-old Emmery Miller, and five-day-old D’myia Alexander. They died on Saturday night, likely from internal bleeding, officials said.

Family members have met with hospital officials, Odle said. He added, “Our hearts go out to the families.”

“They may apologize but it didn’t help,” said one mother. “It didn’t help, because I feel like whoever the nurse was on call, they should know what they were doing and how much my baby should have.”

Adult doses of Heparin were administered to the six infants, according to Odle.

The hospital investigated what could have gone wrong. They found that a staff member, most likely from the pharmacy department, placed vials of the wrong concentration of Heparin in a neonatal care nursing station cabinet.

From there, one or several nurses probably took the vial from the computer-controlled cabinet and did not double-check to make sure the concentration on the label matched the listing on the cabinet drawer.

Herapin is routinely administered to premature babies to prevent blood clots from developing in their intravenous needles and tubes. The hospital administers the drug thousands of times each day.

“Multiple” staff members made “procedural errors,” Odle said. However, all involved were still working with the hospital.

Victim of a drug error? Please contact us today to learn more about recovering damages for your losses and suffering.


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