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Heparin Overdose Kills Toddler

A 2-year-old Dallas girl appears to have died of a Heparin overdose after she was treated in an Omaha hospital for an infection. Heparin is a blood thinner (anti-coagulant) that is used to decrease the clotting ability of the blood. The drug is referred to as a blood thinner though it does not actually thin your blood. The drug cannot dissolve clots that have already formed but it can prevent clots from forming or becoming larger. The larger the blood clot, the greater the potential for serious harm.

Almariah Duque, 23 months, was born with birth defect and had survived transplants of her small intestines, liver, and pancreas in December 2009. The little girl survived the surgeries but died at the Omaha hospital when she was given too strong a dose of the anti-coagulant, Heparin. The hospital has apologized to the parents and has agreed to pay medical and funeral expenses.

This is certainly the first Heparin-related death. Almost four years ago, three preemie infants died from a fatal dose of Heparin in Indianapolis when the hospital erroneously used the adult vials on the babies. The maker of Heparin, Baxter, sent warning letters to hospitals across the country warning them to have their staff members carefully read Heparin labels before administering the drug.

Heparin is the drug that actor Dennis Quaid’s newborn twins were overdosed with last year. The babies were given 1,000 times the normal dosage. Quaid and his wife filed a product liability lawsuit against Baxter alleging the product was “unreasonably dangerous because the company packaged adult and pediatric version…in vials of the same size…”

If you or a loved one has been harmed by a dangerous drug, please contact the pharmaceutical liability attorneys at Schlichter, Bogard & Denton today.

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