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Dennis Quaid's Twins Medical Error

What Did You Do to Avoid Hospital Errors?

Aside from a little postpartum pain, most women leave the hospital after delivery with a baby in their arms and a smile on their face. But for some women, who choose a hospital delivery, the experience is far from joyous.

Following a massive overdose of Heparin, Dennis Quaid's 10-day-old twins fought for their lives for 41 hours, until their blood began clotting normally. The mistake, which occurred when the newborns were given an adult dose of the blood-thinning drug, rather than a similarly labeled baby dose, has made the actor and his wife activists for the implementation of "safe practices" at hospitals. To raise awareness of the issue, and help introduce changes the Quaids are speaking out and have produced Chasing Zero: Winning the War on Healthcare Harm, a documentary that will air on Discovery Channel next week. The actor also sat down with Dr. Charles Denham, chairman of Texas Medical Institute of Technology, to discuss how patients can take precautions during a hospital stay. Their advice includes:

  • Having a loved one, or caretaker, stay with the patient at all times.
  • Insisting that everyone who comes in contact with the patient wash his or her hands.
  • Carrying a list of prescribed medications with you at all times.
  • Asking doctors and nurses what medications they are giving you and why.
  • Taking your medical records with you when you leave (and giving them to your next doctor).

Did you take any precautionary measures to ensure that you and your tot were properly cared for in the hospital?

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