Pharmacy error, mistake, negligence… whatever you want to call it, is becoming a national epidemic. How many more babies and young people have to get injured or die before something is done to address it? Last week, yet another report filed in Texas of newborns receiving an adult dosage of Heparin, the blood thinning medication, leading to terrible tragedy, only this time, the babies did not survive. Unlike the overdose that occurred involving actor Dennis Quaid’s newborn twins, the Texas overdose was not due to a labeling error, rather, it was apparently due to a mixing error by a hospital’s pharmacy. That hospital was Christus Spohn Hospital South in Corpus Christi, Texas. According to a recent AP article, on July 4, 2008, 17 newborns received 100 times the appropriate dosage of the drug. Of the 17, two died, three were released, and the remaining 12 are in the hospital’s NICU.
Kiii.com, a television station in Texas, further reported that the premature twins, a boy and a girl born to Eric and Erica Garcia, were transferred to Christus Spohn after birth and allegedly died from the Heparin overdose. While the hospital is not admitting responsibility for the twins’ death since they were born four weeks early, they are investigating the matter. It is of note that two of the staff pharmacy employees have taken temporary leave.
Our hearts go out to the Garcia family during this difficult time.