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Baby given the wrong meds at Wolfson Children's Hospital

6:34 PM, Aug 30, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Little Jalen Miller is just 8 weeks old, but he's already had some harrowing experiences.

"Took Jalen in on Sunday about 10:08 a.m. in the morning because he had formula coming out of his nose, and I told his mother I didn't know what was the problem," said Lisa Franklin.

On Aug. 19, Jalen's mom and grandmother say they took him to the emergency room at Wolfson Children's Hospital at Baptist Medical Center. They were placed in room 5, and a short while later, a nurse came in and gave him a dose of oral medication.

"The nurse came in, gave him the medication and then she says 'she's gonna feel better now. We're treating her for croup.' And I'm like 'her? Hold on wait a minute, wait a minute. This is a boy. His name is Jalen Miller!' And I said 'do you have the right records?' And she was like 'is this not room 6?' and I said 'no - this is room 5.'"

According to the grandma, the baby reacted quickly.

"He immediately threw up twice, and then he just went to sleep," Franklin said.
 
In fact, she says, he slept from about 11 a.m. to almost 9:30 p.m. that night -- about 10 hours.

The hospital told them the drug was Decadron, a steroid used to relieve inflammation and allergic reactions, and had been meant for a 5-month old child in the room next door. The grandma says the nurse quickly realized her mistake.

"I was very scared. She said she almost wetted her pants. I said, 'I almost wetted my pants.' I said 'this is frightening.'"

The family left, and took the baby to St. Vincent's Hospital. Jalen's mom said they evaluated him and told her to keep a close watch on him throughout the day.

Cindy Hamilton, spokesperson for Baptist Medical Center, issued this statement after she got permission from the mom to speak about the case.

"Our first concern is the well-being of Jalen and we are thankful he is doing well. Our goal is to provide the right medication to the right patient every time and regret that it did not happen in this case. Fortunately, this type of event is extraordinarily rare at our hospital."

The hospital says the incident prompted them to "reinforce their expectations with caregivers," but Jalen's grandmother isn't reassured.

"Whatever your protocols are, we gotta do something better to make sure this doesn't happen again," Franklin said.

She said the family did discuss the matter with an attorney, but were told that, barring any permanent damage to Jalen, chances for a successful lawsuit were slim. For now, she just wants to get the word out.

"Simple mistake could be deadly. We could have lost our baby in the process of that," Franklin said.

First Coast News

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