Health

Dad Wants Answers After Hospital Accidentally Gives Baby Dangerously High Dosage Of Pain Medication

| by Jonathan Constante
Le Bonheur Children's HospitalLe Bonheur Children's Hospital

A Memphis father is outraged after his baby was mistakenly given a dangerously high dosage of painkillers.

Tavares Sheeks’ 2-month-old daughter was at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital for a respiratory illness, Fox 13 reported. The child was discharged, but called back to the hospital three hours later. The parents noticed something was wrong.

“She still wouldn't wake up, even after we took her out of the hospital bed,” Sheeks told Fox 13. “We got a call from the nurses around 5 p.m. saying we should bring her back in ASAP because she's been overdosed with too much methadone, which is the medicine to keep her sedated and asleep.”

Doctors reportedly told Sheeks his newborn baby was mistakenly given 2 milligrams of methadone instead of the intended .2 milligrams.

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“I don't understand,” Sheeks said. “I'm not even a doctor, but I don't understand how could you mix .2 milligrams and 2 full milligrams?”

According to paperwork from the hospital, the baby was diagnosed with a “possible accidental medicinal overdose.”

“Overdosing on a two month old?” Sheeks said. “I just told them they would hear from my lawyer.”

When asked about the incident, Le Bonheur told the news station in an email:

Federal law prohibits us from sharing any patient information without parental consent. The mother specifically asked us not to release information and we always abide by parent's wishes. We take our responsibility to children in our community very seriously - their health and safety is our first priority.

Sheeks said hospital representatives have apologized to his family following the incident.

“I accept their apology, but I'm still lost on how could you make a mistake with a two month old?” Sheeks said.

On Sept. 14, 2010, a similar incident occurred at Seattle Children's Hospital. Longtime critical care nurse Kimberly Hiatt mistakenly gave 8-month-old Kaia Zautner 10 times too much medication, MSNBC reported. She was supposed to give the child 140 milligrams of calcium chloride, but gave 1.4 grams instead.

The accidental overdose led to Kaia's death and Hiatt's termination from the hospital. Hiatt committed suicide on April 3, 2011, at the age of 50. The accidental overdose was the only serious medical mistake she'd ever made, according to public investigation records.

Sources: Fox 13, MSNBC / Photo Credit: Memphis Daily News, LeBonheur.org