Morning Shows Drag Innocent Drug Maker into Deadly Incident

July 11th, 2008 6:50 PM

When a horrible tragedy happens, media reports try to find a place to point the finger. Although, this time a company name is being tacked on to something they had nothing to do with.

Heparin is a generic drug made by many different companies that is used to thin blood. It has recently been involved in two accidents involving babies and media reports have unfairly connecting one company to both incidents.

Actor Dennis Quaid and his wife Kimberly are suing Baxter Healthcare Corp. They claimed the heparin blue labels could be confused with a less potent derivative, which reportedly led to the injury of their newborn children, according to Bloomberg.

On July 6, 17 babies in a hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas, were given an overdose of the drug, resulting in the death of a set of twins. Although their deaths are still being investigated.

Media reports of the incident at Christus Spohn Hospital South in Texas have been tied in with Quaid's lawsuit against Baxter over heparin even though the two cases are unrelated and Baxter has confirmed it did not manufacture the heparin used in the Texas accident.

“The maker of the drug has increased the size of the label by 20 percent and added red warning signs to adult doses” in response to the Quaid accident, reporter Mike Von Fremd said of Baxter’s drug on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” July 10 in a segment on the Texas tragedy.

In the online version of the story, Von Fremd and Imaeyen Ibanga identified the drug maker by name July 10: “Drugmaker Baxter International has increased the size of the label by 20 percent and added red warning signs to adult doses,” they wrote.

The local paper in Corpus Christi, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, reported that the newborn boy, who died July 8 at Christus Spohn Hospital South, “was killed by a septic infection and complications of prematurity,” according to a doctor who told the Nueces County medical examiner.