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Infant Given Morphine By Hospital—More Details Emerge

Last week we reported on a particularly troubling medical error, where a newborn baby was mistakenly given a dose of morphine by negligent medical professionals. Good Morning America did a segment on the incident yesterday that explains more about the near-fatal hospital mistake.

Jessica Blischke had just delivered triplets, all girls, when her doctors prescribed her morphine to help her recover from the painful C-section surgery. However, a nurse mistakenly mixed up the IV lines with that of one of her just-born daughters, Taylee. In an instant the infant received a dose of the powerful opiate 400 times more potent than is usually given to a child her size. As a result, Taylee stopped breathing, going slack and becoming blue in the face while her mother was holding her. Doctors were able to revive the newborn, and she clung to life on a breathing tube.

The medical professionals were befuddled as to the cause of Taylee’s condition, until they finally performed tests which revealed the opiates in the child’s system. However, instead of considering whether a hospital error had caused the problem, officials instead pointed the finger at Jessica. Medical staff assumed that Jessica must have been taking drugs, with the morphine entering Taylee’s system through her breast milk. Doctors may never have believed Jessica’s repeated denials, except for the fact that the other two infants (also breast fed) had no traces of drugs in their system.

Eventually the truth was revealed. The nurse who made the error was overworking-making the mistake at the end of a 12- hour shift.

Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti continue to be saddened by the thousands of families who are forced to endure the heartache of these medical errors. Luckily, doctors were able to save Taylee’s life following the incident. Almost 100,000 patients each year are not so lucky and die from these mistakes. There is simply no excuse for medical professionals to destroy lives in that way. Please contact a medical malpractice lawyer if you have suffered from a similar mistake.