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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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I was injured by a lousy DR He kept telling me I had the flu, but I actually had a ruptured intestine 4 weeks of him saying take your pills and I was critical they had to remove all of my large intestines and I now wear a bag on my side to collect waste. Did anyone give a dam NO Was anyone willing to say this dr made a medical mistake No. So just because mistales are made it doesn't mean jack your not protected by anything. IN 2002 I was in the hospital 7 times during one surgery to hose out the rot in my abdomin my heart stopped 3 times on the table and I had a stroke. All of this would never have happened if the pill pusher just stopped a second to take a cat scan but no ?? The week after all this he left the pratice he was in and is now in a walk in clinic that the government is paying the bills for. He is going to kill someone and no one cares. O by the way he sent me to the local hospital in an ambulance and this is when I found out he did not even have hospital priledges Thank God a great surgeon was assigned to me in the emergancy room but even he has admitted he did not think I would survive. So don't tell me how great all the drs and nurses are. In the hospital I was given IV at full strength and not diluted I tried tell the nurse and she said don't be a baby lay still. I rippd the IV out of my own arm. I also told the head nurse when she came in to file a report that if the nurse who put it in my arm comes back in this room I will crawl out of my bed and beat the hell out of for talking to me like that I had been throguh to much. Did anyone bother to stand behind me so I could sue and get that dr out of the profession before he killed someone NO NOT A SINGLE PERSON WOULD. Now I am permently disable because of the seizures I have. So the medical profession stinks !!!

2526 days ago

ICU Nurse    

OK - Let's bring another perspective: There are NOT enough nurses to deliver safe, efficient care in the United States! Or if there are, hospitals can't pay. Insurance companies TELL the hospitals how much they will or won't pay - leading to every penny being stretched just to keep the doors open. Where an ICU nurse could expect to diligently tend to 2 patients at a time, we now have 4. A floor nurse can have 10. People treat their bodies however they want and then expect the nurses and doctors to rebuild them.
We are extremely overworked - often working 70 hours a week. We can be contaminated by blood, spit, urine or someone's breath. Everyday there are new bacteria found that are not treatable. If someone is infected with a new organism, we are the first ones exposed. We can be sued if we don't assist everyone in need while off duty, no matter the danger.
We are NOT ALLOWED to call in sick for ourselves or a child, or we risk losing our jobs. If we get ill on the job, we are not allowed to leave until someone else takes our patients or we can be prosecuted for abandonment and lose our licenses! I have laid in an ICU bed vomiting my brains out because my supervisor said we were too short staffed for me to leave. We have put every safeguard available into making sure med errors don't occur; BUT if a pharmacy tech (very little OTJ training and usually minimum wage) loads the wrong drug in the machine (you can't just pick up any old drug - a computerized dispenser is used)
it is a train wreck waiting to happen.
We are people just like you - we get tired, we miss our families - and chances are most of you don't hold someone's life in your hands everyday. It's a battlefield, folks, with lots of obstacles. And still... we get back up and do it again....because we love everyone who comes to us.
SO - if you don't want to join the ranks - don't slam us into the ground either.

2526 days ago


Holy crap....this is terrible! I hope the twins make it! I hope he sues big time but also was glad to have read they stepped up to the plate to take the blame and didn't pass the buck.

2526 days ago

Hope, FL    

God Bless and protect these precious babies. This is a horrific mistake... the procedures need to change at this hospital.

I hope with all my heart that this family can look at their babies and know that they will survive and have wonderful lives.

God be with them through it all

2526 days ago


Ellen, I am so sorry for what you have gone thru and still have to go thru. As a friend of mine, who happens to be an attorney (and also a Nun!) told me, unless you are dead or in a wheelchair, you cannot sue or get anyone to take your case. I admit, Doctors and us Nurses are just humans, but there are the TRUE cases(such as yours) where out n out NEGLIGENCE was the reason. As Americans and more importantly,HUMAN BEINGS, we all need to unite to get medical reforms pushed thru,decided on individual cases, to take care of people that will suffer for the rest of their lives,and or compensate the families of those who were killed. For those of you who just don't believe in suing for malpractice, IF it happens to you or a family member or loved one, you would feel different, trust me.
Thank God there are more caring Nurses and Doctors than there are the few that are a danger to society. The good ones are worth their weight in gold.

2526 days ago

Blue Kentucky Girl    

The article states 'no adverse effects' .. yet AOL (typically) made it sound as though they were barely hanging on by a thread.

Prayers and good wishes for these precious little ones.
Boo, hiss and a pox on AOL.

2526 days ago


Shame on you, AOL and TMZ! The twins are not "fighting for their lives", nor is this a "tragedy". While the hospital error is regrettable, and the Quaid family has every right to be angry and hold the hospital accountable for their screw up, according to your article, there were no adverse effects of the overmedication. Shame on both of these organizations for blowing this situation way out of porportion. You want to see a tragedy: Google "Bangladesh Cyclone".

2526 days ago


I just knew there would be someone ignorant enough to blame Mr. Bush. ( JBIRD ) There should be a cap on lawsuits. Do you actually believe your life is worth over a million dollars???? I don't think so. If you want that kind of money , get a job!!!!!! Like him or hate him, Mr Bush is OUR president so have some respect. It is unfortunate what happened, but to mention the president is just plain ignorant. After all these years, its good to know people are still crying over his election. Get over it!!!

2526 days ago


To #8 and #94 who think there should be a cap on lawsuits: I used to be like you, I used to think that also because of the many who took advantage by suing when they had a frivolous lawsuit. Then my 1 year, my very normal son, was in the hospital for routine surgery. All went well until they gave him such a huge dosage of medication that was too much for a grown man, let alone a one year old, that he went into cardiac arrest, twice. The severe lack of oxygen he thereby suffered to his brain left him with cerebral palsy, brain damage with mental retardation, and woke up to darkness because he was now blind (his sight has now returned). Will an award bring back my normal son? Of course not. That's all I want back, is my son. Since no one can do that, I have to take the next step and plan for his future when I am gone. It is my responsibility to make sure he will always have the care he needs. Since he lost the full enjoyment of life that most of us are allowed, he at least deserves to be cared for properly since he is no longer independent to care for himself. So don't be so quick to judge, not all of us are out to get something just because. In many cases there is a real, justifiable reason.

2526 days ago


Not only is this nation running short on nurses, a lot of the nurses out there have disciplinary actions against their licenses. The need for these actions range from bouncing a check to the board of nursing for a renewal fee to being hard core drug addicts, sexual preditors and more. The worst thing is that because of the shortage, most of these nurses will be required to enter a rehab contract, have their employers submit quarterly reports and pay a fine but STILL be allowed to practice. So yes, honest mistakes can and do happen, but too many medical professionals may be working while under the influence. I've seen it happen, I've reported it and now I am "blacklisted" and haven't had a job for 7 months. That's what happens when one professional reports another so why would anyone stick their neck out? I will never report another nurse again. Check out your own state board of nursing's disciplinary action list by way of the following web site. It will scare you to senseless.

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2526 days ago


#98, Dr. Pouslasky: I agree that 2 nurses, not always RNs, must do the calculations and confirm the dose of Helparin before it is administered as an infusion. I, personally, also call the pharmacist and confirm my calculations just to be sure. But not when doing a simple INT flush as I suspect was the case with these babies. Flushes for adults come in prefilled, prepackaged syringes. I have not worked in the nursery since the 1980's so I can't know if they do the same for pediatric flushes but an adult flush would be devastating for an infant.

2526 days ago


Cedars is a lousy hospital

They have temporary nurses rotating in and out.

Cedars is unresponsive to reports of negligent or unstable staff behavior - as someone mentioned, it is totally plausible that these people, including surgeons, are intoxicated on the job, especially since there are no repercussions.

They should have mandatory drug testing to start with.

They have male nurses assisting in female gynecological surgery - one of them spent the entire time beforehand flirting with my sister which was creepy and sexual harassment - she was afraid to say anything as she was about to have these people operate on her.

Their billing is padded with overcharges and wrong charges, so check your bills. They farm their billing out to a hired company so your private medical info is not private with Cedars.

2526 days ago


Sounds like Cedars should consider setting up Barcoding for Medication Administration. With the proper Electronic Medical Record software (most hospitals are using this now) you scan the patient, then the medication to verify med and dose. Only problem really with this system is that you can't completely prevent the nursing staff from NOT using it. If the nurse decided to break protocol, they're liable to lose their job right away then head to court next.

2526 days ago



2526 days ago
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