In most parts of the world including the United States, more lives are lost each year to medical error than to cancer, HIV/AIDS, and accident combined. The fear is that almost everyone may end up being affected by this directly or otherwise. In 2007, Dennis Quaid’s twins, Thomas Boone and Zoe Grace almost ended being part of the statistics when they overdosed with Harpin that almost left them dead. Over a decade down, both kids are now doing very good.
What Happened To Dennis Quaid’s Twins?
On November 8, 2007, Dennis Quaid and his then-wife Kimberly Buffington had their kids, Thomas Boone and Zoe Grace who were born through surrogacy
The bundles of joy were in perfect health, with Zoe weighing 5 pounds 9 ounces while her brother weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces. However, only a few days later, the babies turned up with staph infections and so the actor who was at the time 53 and his wife were asked to take the 10 days old infants to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
There, the infants received antibiotics and seemed to be doing well by the next day, prompting Quaid and Buffington to go home and get some rest. Before retiring for the night, he put a call through to the hospital to check on his kids and was told by a nurse that they were doing just fine.
Contrary to that, his twins were not fine and were, in fact, in grave danger. They were mistakenly given a dose of the heparin which was more than the recommended dose for them by 1,000 times.
After realizing the error in giving the kids too much of the blood thinner, the hospital staff worked against the clock to reverse its effect on them. While the crisis was on, The Parent Trap actor and his wife were kept in the dark until the next morning when they turned up at the facility only to be welcomed with the news that instead of 10 Units of the medication, the infants were shot 10,000 units. What this did was to turn their blood to a complete watery form.
How They Almost Died
As Quaid and Kimberly were told by the hospital’s risk management, the error left the infants at the risk of uncontrollable bleeding as their blood became to thin to clot. But that antidote had already been given to the premature infants who were in incubators.
The Quaids revealed that they felt very betrayed by the facility for not notifying them on time so that even if it meant their kids were dying they could at least come around to say goodbye. More so, they grew angrier knowing that the hospital did not handle medication properly which could have cost the twins their lives.
To worsen the whole issue, the error concerning Dennis Quaid’s twins was leaked to the media and published by TMZ.com a couple of days after the overdose. Before it was reported by the celebrity gossip website, Quaid and his wife had decided against telling their family and friends so as not to have them worried.
After 11 days in the intensive care unit, Dennis Quaid’s twins got back to their perfect health and as they continue to grow, the effect of the overdose has not caused any problem for them.
To ensure that the error does not happen again, he dragged Baxter Healthcare, the manufacturer of the drug to court on the grounds that the packaging was not properly done to prevent things like that. The Quaids asked to be paid $50,000 by manufacturers in damages. The couple claimed that Baxter should have recalled the drug after its negligent packaging had already cost three children their lives.
On its part, the medical center received a $250,000 from the California Department of Public Health which also fined 11 other hospitals for various violations that could expose patients to serious danger and even death.
Following the incident, Quaid testified before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform requesting that it does not preempt the right to sue manufacturers of drugs in cases of negligence under state law.
More so, he became an advocate of patient-safety which has seen him into producing documentaries on the preventable mistakes made by medics; Chasing Zero: Winning the War on Healthcare Harm (2010) and Surfing the Healthcare Tsunami: Bring Your Best Board (2010). He also co-authored a medical journal encouraging patients to tell their stories towards bringing about change in healthcare.