Uncategorized

Dennis Quaid takes on hospital errors

Oie_800px_dennis_quaid_dn_sc_04_1_2Hospital patient safety has a new celebrity advocate in Dennis Quaid, whose twin newborns received a massive overdose of a blood thinner last year at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center while being treated for infections.

While his twins bled profusely, Quaid and his wife, Kimberly, were met by a hospital risk management team, who instead of offering an apology and explanation, provided half-truths and excuses, Quaid told hundreds of journalists Thursday at the annual Association of Healthcare Journalists Conference in Washington D.C.

The Quaids’ experience has been widely covered in the press, and he and his wife recently started The Quaid Foundation to shine a spotlight on the 100,000 people who the Institute of Medicine estimates die annually from preventable hospital errors.

"Unfortunately this tragic secret in the medical industry will continue until the medical community overwhelms a conspiracy of silence and demands public accountability,” Quaid said. "I do realize that because I’m a known person, we have an opportunity to get the word out."

Quaid said he would testify about patient safety at Congressional hearings, and he has filed a lawsuit against Baxter International, Inc., which manufactures Heparin, the blood thinning drug that a nurse gave his twins at 1,000 times their prescribed dose. Baxter failed to recall its Heparin medications after a similar error killed babies in Indiana.

Quaid has not yet sued Cedars-Sinai, which, he said, also violated his family’s privacy. The California State Health Department has fined Cedars-Sinai $25,000 for putting patients in grave danger. As for the hospital bill, Cedars-Sinai told the Quaids not to worry about it.

Quaid said he applauds the hard work of individual health care professionals, but said the medical system is inexcusably broken. As a pilot, he offered up the airline industry as one the medical system can learn from, using the oft-quoted analogy that the number of people who die from preventable medical mistakes would be "equivalent to one commercial airline crash every day of every year."

Airplane crashes are dramatic, and thus attract public attention, which then demands accountability. Unfortunately, most patients who die unnecessarily in hospitals from medical errors, do so silently with only their family and friends as witnesses, he said. He plans to end the silence.

“Public accountability spurs innovation,” Quaid said.

SEE ALSO: "Dennis Quaid’s Kids: Are VIPs safer?" by Bob Wachter.

Livongo’s Post Ad Banner 728*90
Spread the love

36 replies »

  1. My goal is to also create awareness of the same issues locally with my website.
    I sat and slept in the chair (for lack of a closer watchful resting place) next to my little blond haired, blue eyed joy for more than a month and a half watching closely while she suffered and was tortured with negligence and pure unreasonable stupidity.
    My 9yr old daughter had a reaction to Propofol during successful surgery and was released against my wishes post 4 days. The anesthesiologist tells me 11 days after surgery, and a week after release and immediate readmission that she (the Dr.) got careless out of fatigue from dealing with complicated breathing issue (due to my daughter’s dwarfism) during the surgery. Also, that she changed procedure and apologized for the suffering my girl was then experiencing in the NICU with a dead liver holding on for dear life. (Nothing about what she told me was in the surgery report.) Then after 42 days with no liver and many errors including, leaving in a catheter for 2 weeks, administering Ritalin by mistake causing complications, using breathing equipment improperly which caused more complications, they overdosed my daughter with Fentanyl causing her death.(Also, nothing of the Fentanyl or opium effects made mention in the autopsy, just the reaction to Propofol, the cause of death being Fungimia, and they refused to do a toxicolgy which I then ordered by an outside pathologist by a 72 days after death gestated tissue sample). The hospital was not concerned with finding out the true cause of death of my daughter. What they wrote as cause of death was to divert accountability. Instead they persued only their own study (cause of hepatic failure)under a smokescrene of explaining her unexpected death.
    The cause of my daughter’s suffering, and death for 42 days in NICU was due to numberous hospital and medical person mistakes by Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. This hospital is well-known as one of the best in the country. It does not matter how well they are paid.
    There are considerable flaws in the operations, and I want people to be aware that because of Medical Reform Torte of 2003, there is no civil relief for families who’s children are dead due to medical malpractice in the State of Texas. I’ve been turned down by known Malpractice attorneys in the area due to this horrible Torte. Alton Todd Law Firm and notorious Mark Lanier. I hope to find a Law Firm with enough back bone to help fight this Torte on my daughter’s behalf and regain justice. I think the Torte is unconstitutional and should be abolished just as the one in 1978 was. Can you help me find someone with any fight left for this just cause?

  2. Hi Dennis and Kimberly, Had an incident about four years ago at the VA hospital in Westwood. I have chronic pains in my leg since I was 19. At 45 I seldom take medication for it since the pain returns after the medicines wear off. I limped into the VA hospital one morning, was told by a Nurse Pratitioner that it was my lumbar nerves, and she proceded to get technical with me, and handed me Valium and Codiene, and later in the conversation she explained that the appendix is on the left side of the human body.
    Later on, I was back at the hospital with a level 9 pain in the same leg. Went in at 6 pm, was seen at 11 pm, was on a gurney looking at vomit-encrusted plastic curtains, and getting little if any attention from anyone, other than a blood test. One elderly patient two beds down was so fed up for having to wait that he climbed off his bed, got into his wheelchair, and wheeled himself out the door. About fifteen minutes later, the staff noticed he was gone and started looking for him. We were in the Emergency room with doctors and nurses all over the place, and it took them 15 minutes to discover he was gone!
    Well, by 1 am my friend who took me to the hospital walked in, saw me in pain and still on the bed, and walked up to the doctors who were talking to a nurse about how she did a pregnancy check and if she did it correctly. He jumped on their case, told them I was in pain, and the pregnancy talk could wait. Next, I was taken in for x-rays, and then by 2:30 am, I was finally given a shot of Codiene 4 for the pain, plus a perscrition for anti-inflammatories and more codiene and valium. They had run out of cane so I was given a pair of crutches.
    So, from 6 pm Saturday evening to 2:30 am Sunday morning I was in extreme pain. By 3 am I was hobbling out of the place. VA medical service. You get what you pay for I guess…
    That was

  3. how do i get an email to m.m. re her nursing experience with the new grad nurse possible???? bren

  4. theres still alot of cover up-2 nurses were acquitted of all charges for incident with a quad plegic pt in upstate ny-there is so much of this going on today-we can only hope they really were innocent of all charges- some felt the pt signed a paper stating they werent to blame and yet have all the facts-many facilities want to settle out of court also-what i am afraid of is all the high tech machines such as pumps used in pts room and many older nurses are leaving the field-because they do more equipment and paper work thne bed side pt care- sometimes while trying to fix the problem the pt gets over looked- we need a check and balance system!

  5. god bless you all for breaking the silence- my father had open heart surgery several yrs ago at a top az hospital and great staff except for 2 grad nurses that were nasty and no communication skills with family members- we ended up reporting both to dir of nursing and she ordered them to stay away from my father when we were there- they made inappropriate comments about my family also-against my better judgement i let my sister and mother handle the director of nursing-they teach them no communication skills or bed side manners- along with the fact that my father is legally blind and when they went into his room-never told him what was going on-many of them think because they have an rn after there name they are god like many drs! most rn’s are very good but some of the younger ones are sinful! they were never taken out of icu as they should have been and reprimanded for their actions and nasty comments- just another family complaining was there attitude- my brother was upset also and had witnessed their manners in my father’s room-when you do speak up you are a bad person or a nut case! they only get involved if it affects them directly-hope the twins will be okay and we thank the quaid family and others for trying to bring light on this tragedy!rivers family-az

  6. At least Dennis Quaid is trying to do something…My amazing 39 year old handsome gentleman firefighter brother died in a supposedly very “top” NY City hospital due to hospital error in April of 2007. The NY State department of health found he could of been saved several times…but the hospital was not doing their job.(the attending doctor did not even know he was on call…and never showed up!!) A lesson to all: do not leave your loved ones in a hospital alone and do not think that the hospital staff can be trusted..if you feel you are not getting proper care shout from the mountain tops to get help!!!

  7. Quaid Foundation
    335 North Maple Dr.
    Suite #351
    Beverly Hills, Ca.
    90210
    Dear Dennis and Kimberly,
    Breaking the “Conspiracy of Silence” has caused me incomprehensible retaliation for the last 3 years. As a Registered Nurse of 13 years, I reported a medical error, an Intravenous Infusion of a cardiac medication, made by a “New Grad” nurse that was causing the patient’s heart to stop repeatedly. This was considered “interfering” with another nurse’s patient.
    Since that time the Hospital retaliated and reported me to the Nursing Boards to have my Nursing License revoked after I had saved the patient’s life from death by having the infusion stopped.
    However the “New Grad” nurse who overdosed the patient had no adverse action taken against her nursing license and continues to practice nursing.
    After 2 years of legal fighting it was revealed from the patient’s incomplete medical record that the Hospital gave large amounts of a drug that causes amnesia to the patient. The patient will not know what the hospital did to her heart as she now has the inability to recall events of that night.
    I have litigation in progress Dennis and Kimberly and have empathy for your ordeal.
    As a nurse I am fighting to save my own career in court for breaking the “Conspiracy of Silence”.
    I will do whatever I can to help your foundation and bring awareness to your valid cause and public epidemic of unnecessary Hospital deaths, 100,000 per year.
    I am a R.N. and I am on your side of this fight. I am taking my cases to the public arena for public support, the court room. I want my day in court I have something to say and I want everybody to hear me.
    Please feel free to use your “public voice” to document and or film a Registered Nurse’s personal crusade in court to save lives for your foundation for public awareness, by breaking the Conspiracy of Silence.
    I am not the nurse who is keeping silent. Please hear my voice.

  8. Excerpts from registered letters sent to Ronald Reagan Medical Center at UCLA to the CEO and Director of Patient Services — no response from either of them.
    I discovered my mother unconscious when I went to visit her — she was taken by paramedics to UCLA ER although I reqested she go to Cedars where her primary physician is. Against my mother’s wishes, expresssed in her living will which I provided, and my wishes, she was poked and prodded and hurt unnecesssarily. The emergency room was bedlam. They carelessly inserted a catheter and hurt her in doing so so that her unrine was bloody and the internal cut was stinging her. Her arms were black and blue from nurses trying to put needles into her although her primary physician’s nurses never hurt her. She was put in a neck brace (unnecessarily) six hours after she arrived at ER which was too big which she begged to have taken off because it was digging in to her. An ER doctor told the family that she had brain cancer (which she did not) because there was bleeding in her brain because she hit her head. At one point one of the more experienced lab technicians came in, checked her chart and commented that this elderly 100 pound woman was given twice the dose of a medication that she should have been given and she never woke up. The whole experience was a nighmare. My mother was justifiably afraid of hospitals because she intuitively felt that many times when you go in you never come out. I am glad that the Quaid babies survived their horrible experience.

  9. I’ve had six back operations as well as numerous other hospital stays from a car accident when some knucklehead ran a red light and I hit her broadside!
    I have seen things that could fill a large book. Not to mention the things they did to me.
    Doctors are human. BUT, they get paid WELL, to not make any mistakes!
    Nurses on the other hand, have more responsibilities then any doctor. Get paid lousy. And are usually over worked with extra patients.
    I have personally stopped breathing TWICE in two different hospitals. Because of, let’s call it Bad Medicine!
    I have the awful memories of my stays. I have seen far too much!

  10. Four years ago I had double knee replacement surgery.
    When I was in rehab a nurse tried to give me another patients medication. Thank God, we were in the rehab room because the head nurse saw what was going on. I was litterally hollering that it was not my medication.
    The head nurse came over and said to the wacko nurse”That is Joe’s medicine not Pat’s.”
    I am scared to death of hospitals.
    Pat McAloon

  11. Susan E. Loggans & Associates represents the Quaids in their lawsuit against Baxter Healthcare Corporation. As the attorneys for the Quaids, we applaud them for their efforts in speaking out about pharmaceutical safety, defective products, medication errors, and for Mr. Quaid’s recent testimony before Congress in opposition to federal preemption of state product liability lawsuits relating to FDA-approved drugs. Furthermore, we commend the Quaids for bringing attention to innovations that may help to improve patient safety and to causes that help preserve peoples’ rights to sue
    pharmaceutical companies for their injuries.
    At Susan E. Loggans & Associates we believe that every person has a right to recovery if he or she has been wronged.

  12. Susan E. Loggans & Associates represents the Quaids in their lawsuit against Baxter Healthcare Corporation. As the attorneys for the Quaids, we applaud them for their efforts in speaking out about pharmaceutical safety, defective products, medication errors, and for Mr. Quaid’s recent testimony before Congress in opposition to federal preemption of state product liability lawsuits relating to FDA-approved drugs. Furthermore, we commend the Quaids for bringing attention to innovations that may help to improve patient safety and to causes that help preserve peoples’ rights to sue
    pharmaceutical companies for their injuries.
    At Susan E. Loggans & Associates we believe that every person has a right to recovery if he or she has been wronged.

  13. Susan E. Loggans & Associates represents the Quaids in their lawsuit against Baxter Healthcare Corporation. As the attorneys for the Quaids, we applaud them for their efforts in speaking out about pharmaceutical safety, defective products, medication errors, and for Mr. Quaid’s recent testimony before Congress in opposition to federal preemption of state product liability lawsuits relating to FDA-approved drugs. Furthermore, we commend the Quaids for bringing attention to innovations that may help to improve patient safety and to causes that help preserve peoples’ rights to sue
    pharmaceutical companies for their injuries.
    At Susan E. Loggans & Associates we believe that every person has a right to recovery if he or she has been wronged.

  14. Susan E. Loggans & Associates represents the Quaids in their lawsuit against Baxter Healthcare Corporation. As the attorneys for the Quaids, we applaud them for their efforts in speaking out about pharmaceutical safety, defective products, medication errors, and for Mr. Quaid’s recent testimony before Congress in opposition to federal preemption of state product liability lawsuits relating to FDA-approved drugs. Furthermore, we commend the Quaids for bringing attention to innovations that may help to improve patient safety and to causes that help preserve peoples’ rights to sue
    pharmaceutical companies for their injuries.
    At Susan E. Loggans & Associates we believe that every person has a right to recovery if he or she has been wronged.

  15. Susan E. Loggans & Associates represents the Quaids in their lawsuit against Baxter Healthcare Corporation. As the attorneys for the Quaids, we applaud them for their efforts in speaking out about pharmaceutical safety, defective products, medication errors, and for Mr. Quaid’s recent testimony before Congress in opposition to federal preemption of state product liability lawsuits relating to FDA-approved drugs. Furthermore, we commend the Quaids for bringing attention to innovations that may help to improve patient safety and to causes that help preserve peoples’ rights to sue
    pharmaceutical companies for their injuries.
    At Susan E. Loggans & Associates we believe that every person has a right to recovery if he or she has been wronged.

  16. Susan E. Loggans & Associates represents the Quaids in their lawsuit against Baxter Healthcare Corporation. As the attorneys for the Quaids, we applaud them for their efforts in speaking out about pharmaceutical safety, defective products, medication errors, and for Mr. Quaid’s recent testimony before Congress in opposition to federal preemption of state product liability lawsuits relating to FDA-approved drugs. Furthermore, we commend the Quaids for bringing attention to innovations that may help to improve patient safety and to causes that help preserve peoples’ rights to sue
    pharmaceutical companies for their injuries.
    At Susan E. Loggans & Associates we believe that every person has a right to recovery if he or she has been wronged.

  17. Susan E. Loggans & Associates represents the Quaids in their lawsuit against Baxter Healthcare Corporation. As the attorneys for the Quaids, we applaud them for their efforts in speaking out about pharmaceutical safety, defective products, medication errors, and for Mr. Quaid’s recent testimony before Congress in opposition to federal preemption of state product liability lawsuits relating to FDA-approved drugs. Furthermore, we commend the Quaids for bringing attention to innovations that may help to improve patient safety and to causes that help preserve peoples’ rights to sue
    pharmaceutical companies for their injuries.
    At Susan E. Loggans & Associates we believe that every person has a right to recovery if he or she has been wronged.

  18. Susan E. Loggans & Associates represents the Quaids in their lawsuit against Baxter Healthcare Corporation. As the attorneys for the Quaids, we applaud them for their efforts in speaking out about pharmaceutical safety, defective products, medication errors, and for Mr. Quaid’s recent testimony before Congress in opposition to federal preemption of state product liability lawsuits relating to FDA-approved drugs. Furthermore, we commend the Quaids for bringing attention to innovations that may help to improve patient safety and to causes that help preserve peoples’ rights to sue
    pharmaceutical companies for their injuries.
    At Susan E. Loggans & Associates we believe that every person has a right to recovery if he or she has been wronged.

  19. Susan E. Loggans & Associates represents the Quaids in their lawsuit against Baxter Healthcare Corporation. As the attorneys for the Quaids, we applaud them for their efforts in speaking out about pharmaceutical safety, defective products, medication errors, and for Mr. Quaid’s recent testimony before Congress in opposition to federal preemption of state product liability lawsuits relating to FDA-approved drugs. Furthermore, we commend the Quaids for bringing attention to innovations that may help to improve patient safety and to causes that help preserve peoples’ rights to sue
    pharmaceutical companies for their injuries.
    At Susan E. Loggans & Associates we believe that every person has a right to recovery if he or she has been wronged.

  20. Susan E. Loggans & Associates represents the Quaids in their lawsuit against Baxter Healthcare Corporation. As the attorneys for the Quaids, we applaud them for their efforts in speaking out about pharmaceutical safety, defective products, medication errors, and for Mr. Quaid’s recent testimony before Congress in opposition to federal preemption of state product liability lawsuits relating to FDA-approved drugs. Furthermore, we commend the Quaids for bringing attention to innovations that may help to improve patient safety and to causes that help preserve peoples’ rights to sue
    pharmaceutical companies for their injuries.
    At Susan E. Loggans & Associates we believe that every person has a right to recovery if he or she has been wronged.

  21. Susan E. Loggans & Associates represents the Quaids in their lawsuit against Baxter Healthcare Corporation. As the attorneys for the Quaids, we applaud them for their efforts in speaking out about pharmaceutical safety, defective products, medication errors, and for Mr. Quaid’s recent testimony before Congress in opposition to federal preemption of state product liability lawsuits relating to FDA-approved drugs. Furthermore, we commend the Quaids for bringing attention to innovations that may help to improve patient safety and to causes that help preserve peoples’ rights to sue
    pharmaceutical companies for their injuries.
    At Susan E. Loggans & Associates we believe that every person has a right to recovery if he or she has been wronged.

  22. Susan E. Loggans & Associates represents the Quaids in their lawsuit against Baxter Healthcare Corporation. As the attorneys for the Quaids, we applaud them for their efforts in speaking out about pharmaceutical safety, defective products, medication errors, and for Mr. Quaid’s recent testimony before Congress in opposition to federal preemption of state product liability lawsuits relating to FDA-approved drugs. Furthermore, we commend the Quaids for bringing attention to innovations that may help to improve patient safety and to causes that help preserve peoples’ rights to sue
    pharmaceutical companies for their injuries.
    At Susan E. Loggans & Associates we believe that every person has a right to recovery if he or she has been wronged.

  23. Susan E. Loggans & Associates represents the Quaids in their lawsuit against Baxter Healthcare Corporation. As the attorneys for the Quaids, we applaud them for their efforts in speaking out about pharmaceutical safety, defective products, medication errors, and for Mr. Quaid’s recent testimony before Congress in opposition to federal preemption of state product liability lawsuits relating to FDA-approved drugs. Furthermore, we commend the Quaids for bringing attention to innovations that may help to improve patient safety and to causes that help preserve peoples’ rights to sue
    pharmaceutical companies for their injuries.
    At Susan E. Loggans & Associates we believe that every person has a right to recovery if he or she has been wronged.

  24. Susan E. Loggans & Associates represents the Quaids in their lawsuit against Baxter Healthcare Corporation. As the attorneys for the Quaids, we applaud them for their efforts in speaking out about pharmaceutical safety, defective products, medication errors, and for Mr. Quaid’s recent testimony before Congress in opposition to federal preemption of state product liability lawsuits relating to FDA-approved drugs. Furthermore, we commend the Quaids for bringing attention to innovations that may help to improve patient safety and to causes that help preserve peoples’ rights to sue
    pharmaceutical companies for their injuries.
    At Susan E. Loggans & Associates we believe that every person has a right to recovery if he or she has been wronged.

  25. Susan E. Loggans & Associates represents the Quaids in their lawsuit against Baxter Healthcare Corporation. As the attorneys for the Quaids, we applaud them for their efforts in speaking out about pharmaceutical safety, defective products, medication errors, and for Mr. Quaid’s recent testimony before Congress in opposition to federal preemption of state product liability lawsuits relating to FDA-approved drugs. Furthermore, we commend the Quaids for bringing attention to innovations that may help to improve patient safety and to causes that help preserve peoples’ rights to sue
    pharmaceutical companies for their injuries.
    At Susan E. Loggans & Associates we believe that every person has a right to recovery if he or she has been wronged.

  26. Maureen, write to your State’s Medical Board and the governing authority in your state that licenses hospitals. Also write to JCAHO. Send everything certified mail and keep copies of their ridiculous responses. They will run you in circles and do nothing, but someday all these complaints and ludicrious replies are going to matter. Do it anyway. Also cc everything to your Governor and local politicians. Also, request a complete copy of the medical record. Good luck.

  27. We just lost our 47 year old brother-in-law and the doctors said “I don’t know” when asked what killed him. He went in for a colon cancer operation and never recovered, only got sicker by the day. He had an infection which they never treated him for (septis). We screamed and complained, but he died before our eyes. We have not received the results of the autopsy as yet. We also filed a complaint against the hospital with the NYS Health Department. But nothing will bring him back. Anyone out there with other ideas, please tell us.

  28. We’re finding that Corporate America doesn’t want regulation and doesn’t want accountability (the courts). Would the mortgage mess be different if corporations had either regulation OR accountability?
    Wake up America.

  29. At this point (more than a decade after IOM), it’s clear that “the medical establishment” isn’t going to fix itself. Medical errors remain a leading killer of Americans.
    It will take celebrities – Dennis Quaid, Oprah, Kanye West, etc. – to frame this issue in a constructive way (i.e. as a SYSTEM PROBLEM vs. opportunity for individual fault/blame of doctors, nurses, patients) to make a difference.
    Although folks in healthcare wonkery might be tired of hearing about 98K people dieing each year from preventable medical errors, everyday people in this country don’t grasp the scope or the causes of the problem. Or what can make it better (i.e. system change).
    Let’s hope that Quaid’s efforts help in this regard.
    I applaud the Quaids for their constructive efforts.

  30. Quaid should bring this radical idea to the front line. Imagine that, people actually taking responsibility for their mistakes.

  31. There was recently a Supreme Court decision which protected Medtronic (I think) from a form of product liabilty. Baxter among others have sought the same protection for its contribution (not insubstantial) to medical errors. The courts have traditionally ruled in pharma’s favor – but that isn’t enough. I hear there are some efforts now to achieve great and more secure immunity by way of legislation. The Quaid situation has strenghten the hand of pharma’s opponents. Quaid’s testimony is likely part of that effort

  32. A similar situation happened in Florida. Unfortunately, the boy died. Sebastian Ferrero was given an overdose more than 10 times the prescribed amount. His parents started the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation to promote patient safety and pediatric care.

  33. Good for him. That the hospital “provided half-truths and excuses” instead of an apology sounds par for the course in my experience as a patient. Some of what’s behind that is no doubt the desire to avoid a lawsuit, hoping patients and their families can be deceived into thinking nothing went wrong. And I imagine that in many situations they can be deceived pretty easily.
    And some of it might be that whatever aspect of medical training or culture discourgages medical professionals from saying “I don’t know” also discourages them from saying “I’m sorry.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *