A pharmaceutical company is being sued by a Hollywood actor after his newborn twins were inadvertently given massive doses of an anticoagulant in hospital.
Dennis Quaid and his wife have launched legal action against Baxter Healthcare over the packaging of heparin.
The product liability lawsuit, filed in Chicago, is seeking more than $50,000 (£24,000) in damages.
It claims that Baxter was negligent in packaging different doses of heparin in similar vials with blue backgrounds.
A spokeswoman said the company has not yet received the lawsuit and so cannot comment specifically, but added: “This is not a product issue. The issue here is about improper use of a product.”
She added: “While we strive to clearly differentiate our products and dosages, no amount of differentiation will replace the value of clinicians carefully reviewing and reading a drug name and dose before dispensing and administering it.”
The two children, Thomas Boone and Zoe Grace, were mistakenly given vials of heparin that were 1,000 times stronger than the usual dosage at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in California.
The clinic said the mistake occurred when two pharmacy technicians failed to verify the vials’ concentration before placing them in the paediatrics unit.
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“They certainly should have some responsibility, especially in packaging and labelling similar-sounding and similar-looking medicine names and strengths.” – Name and contact details supplied
“I believe pharmaceutical companies should be concerned about similar vials and packages using different colours and labels, because a medicine error may lead to death.” – Name and contact details supplied