Quaid Calls For Bar-code Medicine System, Or He'll Sue
Dennis Quaid has threatened to sue staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles if they refuse to introduce a bar-code system to prevent medical mishaps. The actor's twin babies had to fight for their lives there last year (Nov07) when they were mistakenly given a near-fatal overdose of blood thinner Heparin and Quaid insists the mishap could have been avoided if there was a better system of marking medicines. California regulators have already fined hospital bosses $25,000 (GBP12,500) after concluding the failure of staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to follow their own procedures resulted in incorrect doses of the drug being administered to Quaid's infants and other children. And the actor has revealed he may also take legal action if hospital chiefs don't act to improve patient safety. Speaking at the annual meeting of the Association of Healthcare Journalists on Thursday (27Mar08), Quaid said, "We want them to do the right thing. We're still waiting, although time is running short for us." The Rookie star is championing the implementation of a bar-code system that scans all medication before it is administered to patients - to avoid mistakes like the one that almost cost his babies their lives. This system has been recommended by America's top medical experts. He adds, "They have a bar-code system in every checkout stand of every supermarket in the country, so how could it be so complicated."