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Baby's death brings national attention to hospital negligence

A young couple wanted to have a house full of children, but after two miscarriages their dream seemed unlikely.

"When I got the second miscarriage, it was a little discouraging," the mother told CBS news. "I just believed and had faith that when it was good timing it would happen."

The couple finally had a son, who was born three months premature. Instead of being the first child of a growing family, the baby died in the neonatal intensive care unit of a hospital due to hospital negligence.

While in the ICU unit, the baby suffered from a serious medication error. CBS News reports that someone gave the baby 60 times the normal amount of sodium in an IV bag. Blood tests performed on that day revealed the extremely high sodium levels in the baby's fragile body, but nothing was done for eight hours despite doctor's orders to have the baby checked. The overdose caused the baby to go into cardiac arrest and die.

"You have these dreams and you work towards making those dreams happen, and then like it's kind of like a nightmare comes in a second and takes away everything," the mother said.

The unfortunate part of this incident is that it is not unique. According to a study done by the Texas Medical Institute of Technology, approximately 200,000 people die every year from preventable medical errors and countless others are injured.

The parents of the baby filed a medical malpractice suit against the hospital and hope that their tragic circumstances bring attention to a national healthcare negligence problem.

Source: CBS News, "Baby's death prompts war against hospital errors," 4/22/11

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