Dennis Quaid, wife Kimberly and their two-year-old twins will be
summering at their home in Big Sky Country -- Montana. He's looking forward to some down time with the family after a hectic Spring that saw him wrap production of the big-screen "Soul Surfer," carry out promotional chores for his May 29 HBO Films/BBC Films "The Special Relationship" movie, and do a full court media press for the cause that's at the forefront of his mind -- patient safety advocacy.
You may recall that in 2007, at 12 days old, twins Thomas and Zoe Quaid were accidentally given an overdose of the blood thinner heparin -- 10,000 units instead of the recommended 10 units for babies -- and the following two days, literally fought for their lives.
Since then, the Quaids sued the drug manufacturer they blamed for poor labeling. They started a foundation to improve medical procedures. They learned frightening statistics about the numbers of mistakes made in hospitals. Dennis has made numerous appearances domestically and overseas, including doing the Discovery Channel's documentary series, "Chasing Zero: Winning the War on Healthcare Harm." The Quaids' foundation has
now partnered with The Texas Medical Institute of Technology (TMIT) as their crusade continues.
Gratifyingly, the work has already yielded results. At L.A.'s Cedars-Sinai Hospital, where the Quaid twins' ordeal took place, bedside bar coding is now in operation. (Patients have a bar code attached to their names, and their medicine is scanned and checked through the hospital computer system, prior to ingestion.)
"We're making some progress," he tells us. "A lot of people die from accidents in hospitals -- an estimated 100,000 a year. Medication mistakes, hospital-acquired infections ... and it's needless, because actually, we have the technology to prevent them."