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Third Baby Dies After Overdose

September 21, 2006|From the Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — The grandmother of a third premature infant who died after being accidentally given an adult-size dose of blood-thinning medication at a hospital said Wednesday that she prayed other families would not go through what she had because it was hard "to sit there and watch my granddaughter die."

The baby girl, Thursday Dawn Jeffers, died late Tuesday at Riley Hospital for Children five days after she was born at Methodist Hospital. She had been transferred to Riley once her condition worsened from receiving an adult dose of heparin, a drug routinely given to premature babies.

The child's grandmother, Joanna Pruitt, said Wednesday at an emotional, impromptu news conference called at her daughter's apartment that doctors initially told the family that the 4-pound, 6-ounce baby just needed oxygen "to get her lungs going good" after she was born. The infant had been breathing on her own before receiving the drug, she said.

"When she got the heparin, that's when she started, you know, breaking down, and I really don't know what to say except that they killed my grandbaby," Pruitt said. "And I will never forget it, and I pray to God no one has to go through this, no one, because it's hard to sit there and watch my granddaughter die."

Two other girls, D'myia Sabrina Nelson and Emmery Miller, both less than a week old, died Saturday at Methodist's neonatal intensive-care unit.

They were given the drug, which is often used to prevent clots that could clog intravenous tubes, after a pharmacy technician accidentally stored adult doses in the neonatal unit's drug cabinet. Three other babies who also received too-strong doses were still in critical condition because they were premature but were not considered in danger from the overmedication, said a Methodist Hospital spokesman.

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