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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Heparin OD Kills Toddler in Nebraska

A toddler recovering from multiple organ transplants and gastroschisis died Wednesday, March 31, at the Nebraska Medical Center after she was given an overdose of the blood thinner Heparin. The nearly two-year-old girl and her family had travelled from Dallas, Texas to Nebraska because they trusted the expertise of the doctors and staff at the hospital.

The hospital spokesman has acknowledged that the girl was given too much Heparin and that there will be an extensive investigation. Still, they're going to have to explain to the girl's grieving family how a mistake like this could have happened.

Heparin has been in the news over the last two years for killing a number of people due to contamination, as well as its role in the death of several infants. Actor Dennis Quaid and his wife nearly lost their newborn twins when they were given Heparin. It works well as a blood thinner for patients who are undergoing dialysis or to clean IV lines. However, the bottles of Heparin doses meant for adults and children are nearly identical, which leads to tragedies like the one in Nebraska.

In almost every report of infant overdoses of Heparin, things like the color of the bottle, the similarity in name with another Heparin dose for children called Hep-Lock, and simple inattention by nurses or doctors is mentioned. It seems that these are easy fixes and that Heparin overdoses can be easily avoided.

If your child has been injured due to an overdose of heparin, please contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at the Cochran Firm for an initial consultation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 8:08 AM

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