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Couple whose baby died from wrong IV dose gets $8.25 million

Fritzie CamerBurkett parents  infant sGenesis who died Lutheran General Hospital Park Ridge from an excessive sodium dose discuss their

Fritzie and Cameron Burkett, parents of infant son Genesis, who died at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge from an excessive sodium dose, discuss their wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital in 2011. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

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Updated: May 7, 2012 8:14AM

Born 15 weeks premature, Genesis Burkett survived despite weighing just 1 pound, 8 ounces.

But the little boy couldn’t survive a medication mistake made at a suburban hospital that gave him the wrong IV dosage and took his life when he was 40 days old.

Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge has agreed to settle his parents’ wrongful-death lawsuit for $8.25 million — the largest such settlement ever in Illinois, according to the parents’ lawyers.

Fritzie and Cameron Burkett, of Chicago, are relieved the hospital acknowledged the error that killed their only child, their attorney said Thursday.

“They’re grateful the hospital recognized their significant loss,” Patrick Salvi said. “They hope it never happens again.”

Genesis Burkett died at the hospital on Oct. 15, 2010, after receiving a fatal dose of sodium chloride in an IV administered to him after heart surgery.

The suit claimed an error made by the hospital pharmacy resulted in Genesis getting a dose 60 times the amount that was prescribed by the boy’s doctor, causing the infant to go into cardiac arrest and die.

“The pharmacy made a critical mistake,” Salvi said.

A hospital investigation showed the mistake occurred because the dosage for the boy’s IV “had been incorrectly entered into the machine that mixes IV solutions,” Lutheran General spokesman Greg Alford said Thursday.

Since his death, the hospital has changed procedures to prevent similar mistakes, according to Alford, who said, “We have taken comprehensive steps . . .to ensure this type of tragedy does not happen again.”

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