Quaid working to reduce medical errors

Actor Dennis Quaid, whose newborn twins nearly were killed by an overdose of heparin last year, is now becoming an advocate to reduce medical errors. Quaid, at the annual meeting of the Association of Health Care Journalists outside Washington, D.C., called the general public "benignly ignorant" of the common nature and significance of medical errors.

The Quaid Foundation, started by the actor and his wife shortly after their near tragedy, is looking for ways to change drug packaging (to differentiate between medicines for children and adults), as well as to incorporate the "use of bar code systems at patients' bedsides to make sure the right drug is being used in the right dose." Quaid's twin son and daughter twice received 1,000 times the pediatric dose of heparin--a blood thinner--at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles last year.

For more information:
- read the Wall Street Journal's health blog

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