Dennis Quaid has come out swinging, heavily criticizing the hospital that treated his newborn twins and gave them an incorrect dose of heparin. Heparin is a blood thinner, that was supplied to the hospital by manufacturer’s Baxter Healthcare Corp. Quaid is currently suing the makers of the drug for having all the different sized doses of heparin, for adults and children, packaged in similar containers. The similar containers confused staff at the Cedars Sinai Medical Centre, who then gave the wrong dose to the babies.
Thomas and Zoe were hospitalized a few days after birth because of an infection around their navels, where they were then given intravenous antibiotics to fight the infection. Blood thinners were also given to prevent clots blocking the IV line.
On November 18 two doses of heparin were given to the babies over the course of the day, while both parents were with them. They went home to rest, and called the hospital at 9pm to check with the nurses. The Quaids say they were told the babies were fine, but in fact they weren’t. They had been given an adult dosage of heparin and were beginning to ooze blood.
The Quaids were not told of the crisis until 6:30am the next morning, when they were met at the door by the hospitals risk management assessor, a nurse and a pediatrician.
Dennis on the hospital not telling them of the crisis until the next day:
“Our kids could have been dying, and we wouldn’t have been able to come down to the hospital to say goodbye,”
On the twins hospitalization:
“They were in incubators with cords attached to them and monitors, and you could barely hold them,” said Kimberly Quaid, 36. “Every time you’d move them, the alarms would sound. . . . The stress was overwhelming.”
“When you go into a hospital, you become like a child, like an infant in a way,” Dennis Quaid said. “The names of the drugs, we can’t even pronounce. . . . We put complete trust, and we are so vulnerable like a child, innocent and vulnerable in a hospital situation.”
On the twins recovery:
“We have our babies back, and they seem to be doing great, and they’re just a lot of fun to be with,” Dennis Quaid said.
“We really do feel that prayer saved them,” he later said.
The Quaids say that someone at the hospital leaked to the media that Thomas and Zoe were being treated, and the media presence caused additional stress. A hospital spokesperson responded:
Cedars-Sinai spokesman Richard Elbaum declined to comment on most of the allegations made by the Quaids. “Throughout the course of their children’s hospitalization and continuing today, we have reached out to the Quaids to discuss any concerns or questions they have,” he said. “We would like to continue to discuss all of these and any other concerns directly with the Quaids to identify and resolve any questions.”
Elbaum did say the hospital is investigating whether there was a violation of the twins’ privacy rights by leaks to the media. “We take very seriously any allegations of breaches of patient confidentiality and investigate these in a comprehensive manner,” he said.
I can’t imagine anything more distressing than having your new babies taken to hospital, particularly when they had been so hard to produce. Due to Kimberly’s history of miscarriages the Quaids had their babies using a surrogate.
State regulators have found that the mistake occurred after technicians delivered the wrong dose of medication to the pediatric unit. Nurses say they are unsure of whether they read the labels on the vials of heparin. Another child was also overdosed, and made a full recovery.
I’m so happy to hear the babies have made a full recovery. They’re still being monitored for liver and kidney damage but it’s a good sign that none has shown up yet. I hope they’re safe and well.