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Toddler's Death at Nebraska Medical Center Linked to Heparin Overdose

Apr 2, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP

A Dallas toddler may have died as a result of a  heparin overdose administered at the Nebraska Medical Center.

Heparin is a blood thinner, and the vital drug is used in surgery, dialysis, and to prevent blood clots in the bedridden. Heparin overdoses do occur from time to time. In February 2007, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Baxter International issued a two-page safety alert warning of the fatal dangers of mistaking high 10,000 unit and low 10 unit dose vials of Heparin. The memo advised hospitals to double-check inventory to ensure dispensing errors did not occur and was issued after three infants died in Indiana when they were mistakenly given adult doses.

In 2008, a dozen premature babies were overdosed with heparin at Christus Spohn Hospital South in Corpus Christi, Texas. Two of the children died in that instance.

In 2007, actor Dennis Quaid’s infant twins suffered a Heparin overdose at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Fortunately, the children recovered in that case. 

According to CNN, little Almariah Duque, just 23 months old, died Wednesday. According to CNN, Almariah, who was born with a birth defect, had undergone a transplant at the Nebraska Medical Center of her small intestine, pancreas and liver. She was readmitted in February because of an infection.

A statement from the hospital said that it appeared an overdose of the blood thinner heparin may have contributed to the toddler’s death. The medical center is paying for funeral and travel expenses for the girl’s parents, who have no other children.



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