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A New York family is mourning the loss of their six-month-old son after he was given an accidental overdose of medication.

The child was brought to the emergency room with a fever and was diagnosed with pneumonia after further investigation. The baby was transferred to the hospital's pediatric unit and given an IV drip containing azithromycin, more commonly known as Zithromax.

The problem was that the dose administered was appropriate for a full-grown adult, not a 17-pound child. To put it in numbers, the child was given 500 milligrams of the drug instead of the 80 milligrams that would have been appropriate.

The overdose caused the child to suffer a cardiac arrest. Less than 24 hours after the medication was administered the child's parents were told their baby boy was brain dead. Shortly after, the decision was made to take the child off of a respirator.

The first-time parents are understandably devastated at their son's tragic death. What makes the situation even worse is that their son's death could have been prevented. The New York area hospital declined to comment on the situation, only stating that they were investigating the matter.

Surgical errors, overdoses, and other medical mistakes happen from time to time all around the country. No amount of compensation can appropriately account for those who have suffered life-changing injuries or the loss of a loved one because of medical errors. In this case, the family may be able to obtain monetary compensation as some small measure of justice for the tragic events that occurred.

Source: CBS New York, "ME Rules Death Of Brooklyn 6-Month-Old 'Accident' Resulting From Antibiotic Overdose," Oct. 26, 2011


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