Cedars-Sinai Medical Center overhauls its treatment of "high-alert" medications
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center – the facility which treated Dennis Quaid’s twins when they were mistakenly overdosed with Heparin – announced several changes to hospital policy Tuesday.
“Although this was a rare event, and attributable to human error, it is also an important opportunity for the entire institution to explore any and all ways we can further improve medication safety,” the hospital’s chief medical officer, Dr. Michael L. Langberg, said in the statement.
Among the key changes, the hospital will flush catheters in the pediatric unit with saline solution, not the anti-coagulant Heparin. Quaid’s twins, Boone and Zoe, were among the three patients overdosed when their catheters were accidentally flushed with a solution containing 10,000 units per milliliter of Heparin, not the usual 10 units per milliliter.
The hospital has also beefed internal training on the use of “high-alert” medications. Furthermore, all employees involved in the incident were suspended.
“The individuals involved in this incident were immediately relieved of duty pending investigation,” said the statement, “and appropriate disciplinary actions are being taken.”
Langberg also offered his “deepest apologies” to the affected families. “We will continue to work with them on any concerns or questions they may have.”
Also on Tuesday, the Quaids filed suit against Baxter Healthcare Corporation, the makers of Heparin. They are seeking more than $50,000 in damages.
The twins have fully recovered and are now back home, confirms the family’s lawyer.