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Hospital Chief Calls Quaid Tragedy "Preventable Error"

11/21/2007 12:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Dennis QuaidAfter staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center accidentally gave Dennis Quaid's newborn twins and several other patients an overdose of the blood thinner heparin, the hospital's Chief Medical Officer, Michael L. Langberg, MD, apologized and issued a statement this evening.

According to Dr. Langberg, the error was "preventable" and involved "a failure to follow our standard policies and procedures." He said "there is no excuse for that to occur at Cedars-Sinai."

As for the twins, the statement did not identify them by name, but did say after giving "two patients" protamine sulfate, they "indicated no adverse effects from the higher concentration of heparin or from the temporary abnormal clotting function. Doctors continue to monitor the patients."

lick here to read Dr. Langberg's complete statement.


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Cedars-Sinai is very over rated. It would not be my choice of hospitals in the LA area. People think that because they get a lot of PR and celebrities go there it is a good hospital. They are wrong. Buyer beware.

2497 days ago

margie bloomfield    

my father was over dosed on heperin at selby general hospital in marietta ohio. he stopped breathing and they had to put in a trach. he had uncontrollable bleeding everywhere. his kidneys shut down. it was pretty sad. it could have all been avoinded and if the propper medicine was used afterwards, vitimen k. he wouldnt have died.

2497 days ago


I am not defending what Cedar Sinai did in any way but, these things happen because of poorly staffed units. There are not enough nurses and we have too many patients to take care of and we are sorely UNDERPAID. I wish the best for the twins and the others who received the wrong dose and believe whole heartely that the hospital should pay.

2497 days ago


The reason that several folks are blaming GW Bush is because he is the one who enforces the medical malpractice law. This law protects doctors and prevents them from being sued. That is why the hospital is a very scary place. Doctors can get a way with murder these days.

2497 days ago


Personally, I think the person resposible for this "mistake" should be fired. There should never be a margin for error when it comes to human life, especially if that human life is a newborn infant!

2497 days ago


The same situation happened earlier this year at an Indianapolis hospital. The wrong dose of heparin given to new born babies. They said at the time that the drug was supplied to the hospital in small and large doses in VERY SIMILAR packages, and the staff was supposed to check small print on labels to tell the difference. The drug maker at the time said they would change the packages to make them easier to tell apart. The incident in Indianapolis should have been a warning to other hospitals. This should NOT keep happening!

2497 days ago

Josh Fan in Franklin, TN    

This whole situation just stinks of negligence. I don't care HOW underpaid or HOW overworked you are, nurses or hospital staff... there is NO NO NO reason to make such a HORRID mistake.

I hope that Dennis and his wife become advocates for reform in how drugs are administered in hospitals. I hope in my heart of hearts that those twins recover 100%, and that the hospital and everyone involved is punished to the fullest.

I worked for an assisted living community, and when outr med supervisors made mistakes with meds, they were fired. It's that serious.

2497 days ago


Sounds like a "Quad-lude " overdose to me.

2497 days ago


This is certainly a very sad and unfortunate situation. But for those of you liberals, who love to blame Bush for absolutey everything...this situation certainly has nothing to do with him. These doctors are human, like you and me. Unfortunately, mistakes happen. They are not God...they are not perfect. Our society has become so ridiculously litigious. Someone makes a mistake...and you all want to immediately sue them. I think that's absurd.

And to go back go our President, who should be respected, even if your opinion does differ from his, has nothing to do with situations like this.

Liberals love the blame game don't they... For once, why don't ya'll look in the mirror... Or maybe you're too busy talking about others!

2497 days ago


It just proves that bad (or nice) things can happen to anybody...

2497 days ago

S W Posey    

As a former RN, I can say that med errors should NEVER happen if proper procedure is followed. No matter how small or similar the print on a drug container, it is the responsibility of the nurse or doctor administering the medication to check the labeling three times- when the nurse picks up the med container, when you check the order for the drug, and just before you give the drug and check the name bracelet of the person receiving the drug.

2497 days ago


If the babies were given 10,000 units instead of just 10 units, the effect should be disastrous. Babies already have trouble clotting, which is why they are given Vitamin K at birth. The enormity of this heparin mistake is heart-stopping alarming.

2497 days ago


My Mom was dropped ,while in a coma, her head split open, and no Lawyer would touch her case becuse she entered the hospital through the emergancy room, and there is a $300,000 cap on that, so the lawyers [ all 5 I spoke to] refused to handle it as it wasn;t "worth" their time.

2497 days ago


16. don_pap...heparin is also used to keep lines (IVs, arterial lines, etc) patent. A small dosage is used to keep blood in the IV catheter from clotting up the line.

oh, and don't be so quick to blame nurses. pharmacists at our hospital mix the drugs and give it to us in a syringe labeled with the drug name & concentration, patient name, etc. If they labeled it incorrectly, the nurse couldn't have known it was the wrong concentration. I don't know the specifics to this situation but I can see how the nurse would not be at fault but rather the pharmacist.

Posted at 11:47PM on Nov 20th 2007 by GG

since when did Nurses GIVE ANY MEDS IN A SYRINGE THAT THEY DID NOT MEASURE AND DRAW UP THEMSELVES? When I worked as a nurse and also as a medication specialist thats was the first rule. YOU NEVER give A SYRINGE FILLED MED UNLESS YOU DREW IT UP YOURSELF. Have things gotten to this point in trying to save time and money? also, let me say this. I quit Nursing when HMO'S started up because thats when, to save money, hospital cut back on Nurses , doubled their patient loads. It was and still is, (as evidenced here) what a horrible thing HMO's were and still are.

2497 days ago


You're an idiot bellarue if you think hospitals and doctors want to "get away with nurder!" Good grief....grow up.

2497 days ago
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