On November 18, 2013, famous actor Dennis Quaid and his wife Kimberley Quaid welcomed their twins into the world via surrogacy at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Unfortunately, the twins were premature and had to stay in the hospital for treatment because they had both acquired staph infections.
Quaid called the hospital around 21:00 that night to check after the twins. The nurse who took the call told him that “they’re just fine.” What Quaid didn’t know was that nurses had noticed blood oozing from the intravenous site on the arm of one of the twins and a spot on her heel. It turns out that the nurses had mistakenly given the twins 1,000 times the recommended dose of the blood thinner heparin but hadn’t told Quaid of that when he called. Hospital staff scrambled to reverse the effects of the heparin throughout the night but still failed to notify Quaid or his wife of the situation.
It was only when he arrived at the hospital at 6:30 the next morning that Quaid was told of the medication error. It was apparent that treatment decisions had been made without the input of Quaid or his wife, and the overdose of heparin meant that the twins’ blood was unable to clot, which put them at risk for uncontrollable bleeding. In an emotional interview that discussed the issue, Quaid stated: “our kids could have been dying, and we wouldn’t have been able to come down to the hospital to say goodbye.”
When Quaid and his wife went to the see their children, they were greeted by a pediatrician, a nurse, and a representative of the hospital’s risk management department. He was notified that the children had received an antidote, but was still shocked to see them in their incubators attached to several monitors and cords. Nurses monitored the critically ill children throughout the day, and Kimberley Quaid is quoted as saying that “the stress was overwhelming.”
Not only did the Quaid's feel betrayed by the hospital for the nursing negligence that resulted in the mismanagement of their children, but they were equally horrified to learn that their privacy had been invaded when someone in the hospital leaked information regarding the incident to the press.
Surprisingly, instead of suing Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the Quaid's filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Baxter Healthcare Corp., which is one of the manufacturers of heparin, instead. The reason for this course of action was due to the revelation that nursing negligence mainly resulted from the nurses administering the incorrect dose of heparin because the labeling and design of the heparin products were similar in appearance despite the dosing and chemical composition being different across the product’s range. Baxter representatives, however, indicate that the error resulted from improper use and nursing negligence, not the drug itself.
The outcome of the medical malpractice has not yet been revealed.
Like all forms of medical malpractice that occur in NYC, you should consult with a qualified NYC medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you adhere to the state-specific statute of limitations and begin to build your case. Medical malpractice law is complex, and nursing negligence is a type of medical malpractice that requires specialist knowledge.
By consulting with an NYC medical malpractice attorney, you will learn that nurses have an obligation to care for you in a reasonable manner that adheres to the standards of care of the profession, and if they do not meet these standards, then you have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If you have been a victim of nursing negligence or feel that one of your family members has been affected, please contact the medical malpractice lawyers of Rosenburg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff LLP in NYC.
You can call 1-866-516-5887 to disucss your concerns through a free, confidential consultation.