Pharmaceutical

Quaids get settlement in heparin overdose case

The highly publicized lawsuit between the family of actor Dennis Quaid and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has been settled, according to The Lowell Sun/Associated Press. Documents show that the Quaids have agreed on a $750,000 settlement with the hospital. The Quaid twins nearly died after they were accidentally given 1,000 times the intended dose of the blood thinner heparin shortly after birth. The settlement allows the couple to pursue claims for their children in the future.

Heparin is generally used when a patient – adult or infant – receives fluids through a central line to prevent a blood clot from forming, which could eventually grow and break off and kill a patient. But if the blood is too thin, it puts the patient at risk for life-threatning bleeding or hemorrhages, including in the brain.

The Quaids also sued Baxter Healthcare Corp. over the packaging and labeling of its high-dose and low-dose heparins, arguing the two bottles are easily confused. Other cases of heparin overdose have been reported and linked in part to the confusing packaging. The Quaid’s lawsuit against Baxter was dismissed, according the Associated Press.

Baxter International has faced numerous lawsuits lately, most notably for the tainted heparin scandal earlier this year. More than 80 Americans died and hundreds more were sickened after receiving doses of heparin made at Baxter International’s China plant. An investigation found that lots made in that plant were contaminated with over-sulfated chondroitin sulfate (OSCS). The contaminant can cause serious allergic reactions and even death. The FDA issued a recall on batches of Baxter’s International’s heparin.

The Associated Press reports that the petition filed Monday in the Quaid-Cedars-Sinai case indicates that Baxter International may also sue Cedars-Sinai for improperly administering the blood thinner to several patients at the hospital, including the Quaid’s newborn twins.