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Third preemie dies from overdose

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http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/arti.../LOCAL/60920002

A third premature infant who was accidentally given an adult dose of a blood-thinning drug at Methodist Hospital has died, hospital officials said this morning.

Thursday Dawn Jeffers, 5 days, died at 11:38 p.m. Tuesday in Riley Hospital for Children, where the girl had been transferred after the overdoses were discovered late Saturday and Sunday.

In all, six premature infants in the Methodist neonatal intensive care unit received the wrong dosage of heparin last week. Two others also died and three are expected to survive. The three are in critical condition because of their prematurity.

D'myia Alexander Nelson, 5 days, and Emmery Miller, 2 days, died at Methodist.

Methodist Hospital officials have called the overdoses an institutional failure and outlined a series of steps and training to prevent a recurrence.

Nurses administered the drug, which a pharmacy technician had placed in a medicine cabinet.

"We have already implemented measures to ensure that this incident cannot occur again, and we are continuing to take additional steps to enhance safety and quality at our hospitals," hospital spokesman Jon Mills said in a statement this morning.

"While nothing we can say or do can replace the loss this family, and the other families have experienced, we will continue to offer all of the support and assistance that we can."

The hospital will no longer keep certain doses of heparin in inventory, and all newborn and pediatric critical care units will require a minimum of two nurses to validate any dose of heparin.

The hospital has offered restitution to the families of the infants. Two of the families have retained lawyers.

“Their thoughts and their prayers are that they do not want this to happen again in the future,” said Indianapolis attorney Nathaniel Lee, who is representing the family of Emmery Miller.


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