Help! My son was overdosed with meds and I would like your opinion!

Jennifer - posted on 02/11/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I wanted to seek opinions on an incident that happened to my son earlier this week. For a little background on my son he will be 6 weeks old tomorrow and was born 7 weeks early. He was in NICU for 19 days and was then released home. He has an unusually low white blood cell count and has to have blood drawn every three days, if his bloodwork comes up abnormal he has to go in to the local hospital to get a shot of Neuprogen. Neuprogen is normally an adult medication used for people going through chemotherapy or for people with aids, it boosts white blood cell counts. Well so far since he's been home he's had to recieve this shot 4 times at our hospital. Each time it's been a different experience. The first time they just gave him his shot and we were on our way. The second time they decided they had to check his vitals, wieght, and bp saying it was policy so we were there for an hour. The third time the nurse actually complained to us that she was too busy with other patients having RSV to be treating my son there and she stated that she wished we were able to go elsewhere for this injection! She then just gave him his injection with some splattering on the table and walked out of the room. I had to have my husband go ask her for a bandaid to put over the injection site myself, he was bleeding and she didn't even notice. Then the fourth time they didn't run any vitals again and we were on our way out the door when the nurse stopped us saying they wanted to monitor him longer. After 45 min. I was moved to an actual room, at that point they informed me that he had a higher dose and they were required to monitor him and were on the phone with the pharmacist. I asked why his dose had changed and all they said at this point was that it was just off. Finally an hour and a half later I had to demand answers because I needed to make arrangements for my daughter to be picked up from school. At this point they tell me that the nurse accidently gave my son the wrong amount and they had to call posion control. He was suppossed to receive .08mL of neuprogen and they gave him .8mL instead, that would basically be like 10 doses in 1 for him. They handed me a $5 dollar food card and told me to get comfortable. No apologies and they didn't really answer any of my questions they just kept reassuring me that they were sure he was going to be just fine. His Dr. finally arrived at 5 pm (we had been there since noon) and checked him out and told me she wanted him to stay until 8pm till the meds were out of his system and she assured me he would be fine. Then when 8 rolled by my hubby, who had just arrived from work and hour prior, started demanding answers even more. They finally got the pharmacist to come up and explain what he thought the reactions might be and give a printout of the drug and side effects. But other than that they didn't do much, when they released him they asked us if we were comfortable taking him home and that was that. So far I have gotten in touch with the patients advocate to file a complaint and request that a home care nurse come to my home from now on and that if we were mandated to return to that hospital that the procedure be more strict and to make sure this does not happen again. I also stated I wanted somethng done about the manner the nurses took with us. She took my requests and so far I have been contacted by the homecare nurse but no one else. The patient advocate never called back yet and no body has called to apologize for thier mistake or check on my son's status! The night he was released I obviously couldn't sleep and took his temp. every hour to make sure. He was spiking temps here and there and pooped a black stool so I took him in to his reg. DR who then ran tests on him. She found out his levels had dropped and he is severly anemic now due to the medication, if they drop any lower he's going to need a blood transfusion. So far that is all they've came up with, no one knows of any possible future problems. What would you suggest or do if this happened to your child? I'm not normally an angry person but this is ridiculous!

9 Comments

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Jane - posted on 02/12/2010

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i'm glad he's okay. but you need to contact the state and file a complaint and get a lawyer. that is the hospital's responsibility for their employee who screwed up, it may not be the only time she's screwed up and your son's life and his health are much more important whatever she was upset about. the hospital needs to be held accountable. luckily, they did answer your questions once a problem was realized, but much more needs to be done for them to be held accountable. you'll not only be doing yourself a justice, but any patient or child who this horrible nurse treats next.

Penelope - posted on 02/12/2010

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I am happy to hear that your son is starting to do better. I got online to contact you to see how everything was, so thank you for the update. I spent some time in the hospital a couple of years ago and I was so upset with the lack of regard to my well being that I left against doctors orders. When I think back to it, it seemed that the staff was very unhappy, which may be what was going on with your nurse. Regardless, the medical board in your State would find her incompetent for the overdose.

It was Dennis Quaid who's twins were given 1,000 times the required dose of a blood thinner. The hospital didn't even call them! Dennis informed the public and did an interview on 60 minutes if you want to watch it online. I think it's important to contact a medical malpractice attorney, but it's more important to contact the medical board in your State and file a complaint against the nurse and the hospital. Your son could have died. Who knows how may times this has happened before with no consequences. Some people can't handle the stress of working in a hospital and your son, you and your family paid the price. It shouldn't be that way. Take care.

Tiffany - posted on 02/12/2010

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I would keep calling until something gets done. They could have killed your baby. I would also probably sue their pants off.

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I think I would have torn that hospital upside down untill they gave me my answers and then i would have called a lawyer for sure. the pharmacy and the nurse are at fault. The nurse may have ordered the wrong dose but the pharmacy should have read the order and questioned it when seeing your sons size. I'd talk to a lawyer because if they messed up on something like this that Thank God was a wait and things will be ok whatelse have they screwed up that could kill an infant. I'm glad your son is ok I hope it never happens again and he's on the right path to healing.

Shannon - posted on 02/11/2010

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Oh my goodness, I can't believe this really happened to you and your little guy. I would have gone crazy sitting at a hospital that long, I normally am not a confrontational person but I think when it comes to your kid who can't defend themselves you as a parent have to step up. First I would file a formal complaint against the nurse and the hospital for handling the situation so poorly. After that is done I would hound the are that takes the complaints demanding that something be done and want to be notified when action is taken. That is very good that you did monitor him and take him to his regular doctor, who knows if something bad could have happened.

Jennifer - posted on 02/11/2010

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Thanks for the concern and advice. To answer some of the questions...

He was injected with the medication so they did not have to give him liquid charcoal. He had mild anemia from the medication before the overdose, it's one of it's side effects. But after the overdose those side effects obviously increased and made him drop to dangerously low levels. I myself have had anemia as well so I know how dangerous it could be but I'm not familiar with it in a newborn. The hospital did not warn me about this nor anything else for that matter. Another detail I forgot to mention was that when the nurse came in to release us she noticed his vitals machine was turned off and asked us how long it's been like that. When we told her about 20 minutes she was surprised and notice that it wasn't even plugged in for the entire day! That's how much they were paying attention to his vitals. All they did was check his temp. every 2 hours and asked us if he was peeing and eating okay. He was extremely sleepy for that entire day and throughout the night onto the next day. His feeding was lower so in turn his wet diapers were lower. If I hadn't taken him to his regular doctor we would not have known that his anemia had worsened and that nothing else was abnormal. She is the one who ran bloodwork to check for kidney, liver malfuctions and anything else that she could think of to check. She had us in there twice that day to double check everything, and that was my request. We did get approved for the homecare nursing which is still connected to the same hospital. The next closest hospital is two hours away and with the frequency of his bloodwork and injections I'm not sure it's possible to go anywhere else. I do trust his reg. Dr and I am looking into other options. I think we will go talk to an attorney to in the very least understand the hospitals responsibility in this whole ordeal and if something else were to arise from the incident. The patient advocate was through the hospital and the more I think about it the more I think she WAS trying to help brush it off. Her reply to my complaint was "What can I do to make this better" which I'm not sure what she meant fully by that. Again thanks and I'll keep updating. Today his levels did start to level off so I'm hoping he will not need the blood transfusion!

April - posted on 02/11/2010

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I hope he is ok! I would be soooo mad and frustrated. I would def. make complaints to everyone you could. This is so wrong. They should have been paying attention to what they were doing and if the nurse had too much going on for her to handle then she should have asked for help from the staff. I would consider taking him somewhere else if you don't feel safe bringing him back there again. You should maybe try talking to your lawyer about this. This nurse does not even deserve her job. An innocent 6 week old baby and she didnt pay attention to the dosage info! That's the most important part! And, she didnt even give you a bandaid for him!? ooohhh man, i'm gettin riled up just hearing about this. ha ha. I'm not normally an angry person either but i would have to say if this happened to my son i sure would be really angry and i would be wanting answers right then and there...no exceptions. They can't hide from you what is going on because they screwed up. *sigh* I will be praying for your son. I hope everything works out Good luck:)

Penelope - posted on 02/11/2010

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This actually happened to a star's child. I want to say Kevin Bacon. Did he have twin boys? Ten times the required does. It's not uncommon. Research "overdoses given to children by nurses/doctors" on the internet. THE HOSPITAL WILL NOT APOLOGIZE. They would be admitting guilt which would hurt them in a lawsuit. The nurse is at fault for not giving the proper dose and therefore the hospital is at fault. They are downplaying the incident in hopes that you will not file a lawsuit. Who is the patient advocate? Do they work for the hospital? If they do, that's a conflict of interest and don't trust that she'll help you. When there is a poisoning orally, they will use liquid charcoal to absorb the poison. That will cause black stool. Did they tell you that they gave him liquid charcoal? It was an injection, so that doesn't sound right. You need to talk to a medical malpractice attorney to fully understand the hospital's responsibility. Someone with lots of experience. If you can get a recommendation from someone you trust, that's best. Did the hospital tell you that your son faced anemia from this? That is something they are required to warn you about if it is a possible side effect. What if you didn't take him to his regular doctor? What if you trusted the hospital that he would be okay? I'm not trying to upset you, buyt severe anemia is serious. I've had it myself and I was always out of breath because my heart had to work twice as hard with less blood. Don't go back to that hospital. That would suggest that you trust their care. Cut ties with them and go to the nearest children's hospital if he needs additional care. Those nurses are used to giving the smaller doses. You have every right to be upset. The hospital was negligent. They poisoned your son. I hope that your son is okay. Don't question your instincts. The next time a nurse speaks to you that way you ask for the supervisor and then the director of the hospital. Don't let nurses who act that way treat you. Their head is in the wrong place.

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I'd be exactly the same! I'd of either wanted to or would have hit the nurse! That is just wrong what they did. I hope your little boy is alright. I'd actually think about contacting a lawyer if you don't hear from the patients advocate soon.

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