Infant receives overdose of meningitis medication in hospital

Most parents want nothing more than to have a happy, healthy child. If their child becomes ill or is born with a serious medical condition, they rely on healthcare professionals to diagnose and treat the problem. Unfortunately, mistakes can occur on a number of different levels—from delayed diagnosis to failure to read a doctor’s handwriting to a negligent pharmacist making a dosage mistake. The only thing more heart-wrenching than knowing that your child will be disabled for the rest of his or her life because of a dosage error is a fatal error.

Parents of a 6-week-old boy were recently told that there is nothing more they can do for their preemie son who was diagnosed with meningitis and are being urged to take him off the ventilator that is keeping him alive. Shortly after being given more than 10 times the prescribed amount of a medication used to treat infections, the baby’s heart stopped beating and his brain started swelling. The hospital has admitted that a negligent pharmacist did not follow the proper protocol and made the dosage mistake. Instead of receiving 168 mg of the medication in a 24 hour period, he received 280 mg. Yet, the hospital denies that the dosage error is the reason for the baby’s worsened condition. Instead, they say the heart and brain problems are a result of the meningitis. The parents knew that recovery from the rare disease would be long and hard, but expected he would eventually get better.

It is unknown if the parents plan to sue the hospital or the pharmacist for the dosage error. This is a difficult decision to make during an already stressful time. It is typically a good idea for people is situations like these to speak with an attorney regarding their legal options. 

Source:, “Weeks-Old Baby Overdosed During Meningitis Treatment: Parents,” Vikki Vargas, Jan. 2, 2014