Instead of a baby shower, twin infants will be buried this Saturday.
The babies, born July 1, Keith and Kaylynn Garcia died at Christus Spohn Hospital South in Corpus Christi, Texas this past week after receiving an overdose of a blood thinner.
Their teenage mother, Erika Garcia, is reportedly too distraught to talk, so her parents spoke with the Houston Chronicle.
The hospital acknowledges an error occurred in its pharmacy July 3rd that caused a Heparin overdose in 14 infants in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. Another three infants may have been given an overdose but have not shown any ill effects.
Two pharmacy personnel have taken a voluntary leave from their jobs.
The Corpus Christi hospital says the error may not be a direct link to the deaths of the twins, who were also one month premature and had health issues as a result. But the parents had been told that the babies lungs were developed.
Meanwhile, an autopsy on infant Keith has been completed. And KFDM-TV in Beaumont, Texas reports that a doctor told the Nueces County medical examiner that Keith Garcia died of septic infection and complications of prematurity.
A Christus Spohn spokeswoman would not confirm that report to IB News, and adds that the hospital is not authorized to release patient information.
The young parents had a judge’s order issued late Wednesday preventing the hospital from destroying any records or any of the Heparin used in the neonatal unit.
Kaylynn’s autopsy results are not yet released.
Speaking to Kiii-TV in Corpus Christi, Texas, the grandparents of the infants say the family was never told about the Heparin overdose. Hector and Maggie Chapa, says they learned of the overdose when the media did.
Maggie Chapa, the babies’ grandmother says, “We’re puzzled to. We want answers. We want to know what happened.”
The family says they are worried about the mother, Ericka, who is about to turn 17, and is recovering from a Caesarean section birth after the babies were breech, and their 18-year-old son in law, Eric. The couple has been dating for some time and married a couple of months ago. They have a one-year-old daughter and live in a small mobile home. Eric works for a meat market in Alice, Texas.
The babies will reportedly be buried Saturday and share a casket. The family had asked for donations to help cover funeral costs.
In a statement issued last night by Dr. Richard Davis, the Chief Medical Officer of Christus Spohn Health System, says the error occurred in the hospital pharmacy during the mixing of the drug, but was unrelated to product labeling or packaging.
“In the opinion of the attending neonatologist physician, at this time no direct adverse effects of Heparin have been identified in the infants that died or any other patients in the NICU and we continue to monitor all babies in the NICU.”
Heparin is the anti-clotting drug routinely used in IV tubes to prevent blood clots. It is the same drug accidentally given in an overdose quantity to six babies at an Indianapolis hospital in 2006. Three of them died. Actor Dennis Quaids’ twins were also overdosed by Heparin at a Los Angeles hospital but they survived. Quaid is suing Baxter Healthcare Corp.
A 2006 Institute of Medicine report called “Prevention Medication Errors” points out that these sorts of human errors in medical settings harm at least 1.5 million every year.
Knowing how to minimize errors is important information for consumers to have to take things into their own hands. The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality says, make sure you can read your doctors handwriting on your prescription. And don’t be afraid to speak up if you have any questions, concerns or need guidance.
In March, Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi was found to be among the nation’s top 5 percent of hospitals, according to an independent study of mortality and complications by Healthgrades, a hospital rating company.
In 2008, Healthgrades recognized Christus Spohn for clinical excellence and placed it among the top full-service hospitals in the nation. #