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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Three Charged With Causing Natalee Holloway's Death; Scott McClellan Pointing Fingers in Outing of Valerie Plame; Interview With Glenn Beck; At least 1.5 Million Deaths From Medication Errors Each Year
Aired November 21, 2007 - 22:59 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, HOST: Tonight, new developments in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. Three suspects back in custody. Police let them go last time for lack of evidence. They say this time they've got the goods.
We're digging deeper.
Also tonight, the president's former spokesman, his new book dishing dirt about deception at the highest levels of government. Naming names, including Cheney and Bush. But there's a twist and a wrinkle in the twist, and maybe some fog on top of that.
We'll try to clear it all up.
Also tonight, actor Dennis Quaid's children reportedly falling victim to a medical mix-up at a hospital. We'll look at what went wrong and why 1.5 million Americans fall victim every year to sometimes deadly mistakes.
All that and more tonight.
First, though, that break in the Natalee Holloway case.
She vanished on a school trip to the Dutch island of Aruba. That was way back in May of 2005. Tonight, authorities have three suspects in custody, and you'll remember their names. That's because the three being held tonight are the same three who were held once before in Natalee's disappearance and presumed death.
So what's different this time? In a moment you'll hear from the key suspects' lawyer.
First, late details and some background from CNN's Susan Candiotti.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Whatever new evidence authorities have on Joran van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers is being kept under wraps for now. Natalee Holloway's father tells CNN's "NANCY GRACE" show the investigation's come full circle.
DAVE HOLLOWAY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY'S FATHER: They've been investigated for the last two and a half years. And hopefully with what they say that they have, this new evidence, maybe we'll finally get some answers.
CANDIOTTI: Last spring, Dutch investigators returned to the island and dug up, again, part of the van der Sloot property and revisited the Kalpoes' home. They returned to Aruba last month and now say they have new incriminating evidence. Whatever police have, one defense attorney says it must be scrutinized.
MARK EIGLARISH, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It's been two years since they presented evidence in front of a judge. Now they're doing it again. I, from a defense perspective, would argue that now they have a little bit more of something, and they're giving it another try to see if they can get an indictment.
CANDIOTTI: It took a week for police to begin searching the small Caribbean island after Natalee disappeared. Two days after that, authorities finally picked up the boys from the bar for questioning.
Van der Sloot claimed at one point he left Natalee drunk on the beach and walked home by himself. About two weeks later, his father, a judge, was arrested, then released.
A landfill was searched. A pond was drained. Every inch of the island, it seemed, was covered, but still no Natalee.
Law enforcement sources said the boys' stories had changed repeatedly. Things didn't seem to add up. Yet in July 2005, the Kalpoe brothers were released, as was van der Sloot two months later. All were freed for lack of evidence.
Van der Sloot left to attend college in the Netherlands. The Kalpoe brothers went back to their lives on the island. Last year, van der Sloot said he's being wrongly portrayed as a suspected rapist and murder, and he seemed concerned over Natalee's welfare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did it seem like a wrong thing to do, leaving a girl on the beach like that?
JORAN VAN DER SLOOT, SUSPECT IN HOLLOWAY'S DEATH: At that moment in time, for me, it wasn't the wrong thing. I mean, it's not something a real man would do. It's not normal. It's not right at all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you did it?
VAN DER SLOOT: Yes.
CANDIOTTI: A former deputy police chief in Aruba who worked the case tells CNN he suspects Natalee was not left at the beach but went home with van der Sloot, that she may have been weakened by alcohol and possibly drugs and may have collapsed. He suggests the boys panicked and "got rid of her."
Van der Sloot is expected to be extradited to the island in the coming days. The Kalpoe brothers will be in court Friday. Authorities say they expect to reveal some of their new evidence then.
Susan Candiotti, CNN, Miami. (END VIDEOTAPE)
KING: Joe Tacopina is a defense attorney representing Joran van der Sloot. He and I spoke a short time ago. I began by asking him where his client is tonight.
JOE TACOPINA, VAN DER SLOOT'S U.S. ATTORNEY: He's in custody in the Netherlands. He'll be transported back to Aruba. Again, he's not fighting extradition because he's ready to answer any questions they have in regards to his knowledge of the events of the night that Natalee went missing.
KING: Have you been able to speak to him at all or his family since this happened?
TACOPINA: I've spoken with his family, I've spoken with his parents. You know, obviously we've been down this road before.
They've been put through the wringer for the last year and a half. You know, they were hoping it was over. They did a very thorough investigation.
Three countries had looked into this for the last year and a half, not found a stitch of evidence incriminating Joran. That's because he had nothing to do with Natalee's disappearance, I firmly believe. But, you know, this is par for the course here. Thirteen -- now 13 arrests have been made in this case without a single person being brought to charges or any answers, really, being given.
KING: You say par for the course. I assume you've seen the police statement. They say they have new evidence, which is why they went back and re-arrested these suspects. Any idea what that new evidence is?
TACOPINA: No, John. No idea whatsoever what that new evidence is. But again, I will caution to be not too optimistic here because, again, we've been down this road before, they've said they had new evidence, and the new evidence turned out to be insignificant or irrelevant factually.
And what they have told me, which has been very little, is that the new evidence, they've been specific to say that it reflects and pertains to the Kalpoe brothers. Now, I don't know what that evidence is either, but they have specifically not mentioned that they have new evidence against Joran.
And again, he's being held under the suspicion that they've said they have not charged him with anything. They're going to bring him back. And we fully expect that he's going to be brought back, questioned, and subsequently released. And hopefully be able to resume his studies back in the university in the Netherlands.
KING: You seem to consider this a case of Keystone Cops. Obviously, there's been international spotlight on the authorities. They have been ridiculed, they've obviously been criticized by the Holloway family extensively.
You really think they would go through this again without any new evidence?
TACOPINA: Hey, listen, you know, I didn't think they'd be arresting people eight months ago, a year ago, you know, without any evidence whatsoever, but they did it. You know, I don't know, John, what to make of this. I don't know what their motives are. You know, but I will tell you, I will tell you that they botched this investigation from the get-go.
They focused on -- and rightfully so did they focus on Joran and the Kalpoe brothers from the beginning. But when the evidence did not lead them in that direction continually, they stayed there, and I think they let a lot of leads go.
You know, there was a predator that was seen on that island that accosted an American tourist just days before Natalee's disappearance right by that same area. They didn't put a composite sketch up of that individual until a year later when the new police chief came in and wanted to refocus the investigation.
So, you know, this investigation may never give us the answers that we want or the Holloway family wants. But unfortunately, we're back here again, and before we get too excited, I think we need to see what this new evidence is.
I doubt it's going to have any forensic value whatsoever. It could be witness statements, which, again, will be called into question without any corroboration. But, you know, I'm confident of the truth here, and I think at the end of the day, Joran will be released.
KING: Joe Tacopina, thanks for your thoughts. And we'll keep track of this as this bizarre case takes another twist.
TACOPINA: Thanks, John.
KING: Thank you.
KING: It seems like everyone involved in this case has an attorney. Vinda De Sousa is the lawyer in Aruba for Natalee's dad, Dave Holloway. She joins us now live on the telephone from Aruba.
Let me begin with this question. Have you been able to talk to Natalee's father and stepmother? And what is their reaction, if so, to the news of these arrests?
VINDA DE SOUSA, ATTORNEY FOR DAVE HOLLOWAY: Hi -- good evening. Yes, I have spoken to Dave Holloway. I reiterate that I am Dave Holloway's attorney in Aruba. I have spoken to him, and, of course, they're pleased with any development in this case. Anything that could lead to a satisfactory solution, or at least knowing what happened, is very pleasing to them. KING: Now, the prosecutors say they have new incriminating evidence, the reason for re-arresting these three initial suspects. Can you tell us anything at all about what you know about this evidence?
DE SOUSA: No, they're not -- they're very tightlipped about the evidence, and rightfully so. Understandably so.
They don't want to hamper the investigation in any way. What they are saying is there is new evidence or/and new facts and circumstances that have led to this re-arrest.
KING: Over the course of this confusing and often controversial investigation, the Aruban authorities have suggested at times that Natalee may have overdosed on drugs or died of alcohol poisoning. Has the family ever believed that?
DE SOUSA: It's my understanding that the family never did. But the authorities certainly are looking into that, and it's their belief.
KING: And let's look at the specific charges now as these three suspects have been re-arrested. The charge is involvement in the voluntary manslaughter or causing serious bodily harm to Natalee Holloway.
What does the wording of the charges tell you about this case?
DE SOUSA: The wording of the charges tell me that they no longer believe that there is any evidence or anything to do with premeditated murder or first-degree murder, that something -- they believe that something happened that was involuntary, but that the suspects are somewhat involved.
KING: Now, this case has not cast the Aruban authorities in the best light, to say the least, around the world and particularly here in the United States, where Natalee Holloway lived. It's been referred to as the catch and release justice system.
In your view -- and you know the island well, obviously you know the law there well -- has the case been handled properly under Aruban law?
DE SOUSA: Under Aruban law, they have handled it the way they should have in the sense that they held the suspects. We don't have the bail system here in Aruba. So once a suspect is arrested, they need to present, first, under suspicion of having committed a crime.
Then they have to present enough evidence to justify holding the suspects longer. And the longer they hold them, the more evidence they have to present in order to justify holding them longer.
The fact that the suspects were held as long as they were is because they were looking at the case. They were investigating, and there was enough justification to hold them as long as they did.
They were released because there were no new facts or evidences to justify holding them any longer. Now, in order to have a suspect who has been held in preventive (ph) custody and then released in order to re-arrest them, they need to have new facts or circumstances or new evidence. That's the sole ground on which they can re-arrest them. And evidently they do have enough of that to justify their re-arrest.
KING: And give us, as best you can, the timeline for what happens next.
DE SOUSA: The timeline of what happens next is they will be held for eight days. And from there on, a judge commissioner.
There will be -- there will be new arraignment hearings. And from there on, again, their prolongation of their arrests will have to be looked at and justified enough for them to be held longer than those.
KING: Linda De Sousa, the attorney for Natalee Holloway's father, Dave Holloway.
Thank you so much for your help tonight.
DE SOUSA: Thank you.
KING: Thank you.
Like most young women, Natalee had hopes and dreams. Here's the raw data.
She was 18 years old when she disappeared in 2005, about to graduate from high school. A straight A student, she had a full scholarship to attend the University of Alabama, where she planned to be premed and eventually become a pediatrician. Last month Natalee would have celebrated her 21st birthday.
Up next, finally the word we've all been waiting for. A minor detail, perhaps, you know, when the presidential primary season begins.
Also, what the spokesman saw. Reaction to Scott McClellan's allegation that he misled the American people with the involvement of the president and the vice president.
KING: After weeks of keeping the country in suspense, New Hampshire's secretary of state, Billy Gardner, or Billy Gardner as the locals call him, made it official today. He set a date for the primary.
So mark your calendars. It will be the caucuses in Iowa on the 3rd of January -- that's a Thursday -- and Wyoming for the Republicans on the following Saturday, followed by New Hampshire on Tuesday, the 8th -- bim, bam, boom.
Then a week later, Michigan. Caucuses in Nevada on Saturday, the 19th, along with South Carolina's Republican primary. The Democrats do theirs a week later.
Both parties close out January in Florida on the 29th.
Got it? There's a quiz in the morning. Now a big twist in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame. It comes from Scott McClellan, no longer following his job description back when he was White House spokesman. Those words don't make news.
Tonight he's making news all right, dishing dirt on his old bosses in an upcoming book. We've only gotten a taste, and his publisher says that's all we're going to get. But as teasers go, it's pretty juicy.
McClellan's allegation, the top government officials, including the president and vice president of the United States, were involved in his misleading the public about the leaking of Ms. Plame's identity. The meaning of the phrase "were involved" left unclear.
Here's what we know.
KING (voice over): Flash back to the fall of 2003 and a White House under siege.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, FMR. WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president has made it very clear that the leaking of classified information is a serious matter. And he takes it very seriously.
KING: At issue was the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame and rumblings that top White House aides Karl Rove and Scooter Libby might have been involved.
MCCLELLAN: They're important members of our White House team, and that's why I spoke with them so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved. I had no doubt of that in the beginning, but I'd like to check my information to make sure it's accurate before I report back to you. And that's exactly what I did.
KING: Now Scott McClellan says he was misled. "It was not true," he writes in an upcoming book. "I had unknowingly passed along false information."
Then comes the potential blockbuster -- "And five of the highest ranking people in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff, and the president himself."
Libby was convicted of obstructing the investigation. Rove was not charged.
Given McClellan's new take, Plame's husband says the president and vice president have some explaining to do.
JOE WILSON, VALERIE PLAME WILSON'S HUSBAND: At a bare minimum, for openers, I think it's incumbent upon the president and the vice president now to release the transcripts of their statements with -- to the special prosecutor so that we now have a fuller understanding of what they knew, when they knew it and what they said to Justice.
KING: McClellan is declining interview requests until his book is finished. His publisher though tells CNN the former top Bush confidante is not accusing the president of lying to him. "Scott's not suggested that the president was himself party to a conspiracy to mislead," Peter Osnos of Public Affairs Books said. "But it's pretty damn clear that other people knew what they had done and didn't tell the truth."
Back in March, McClellan suggested to CNN's Larry King that both he and the president were misled.
MCCLELLAN: I said what I believed to be true at the time. It was also what the president believed to be true at the time based on assurances that we were both given. And knowing what I know today, I would have never said that back then.
KING: McClellan's new account raises fresh questions about what Mr. Bush knew and whether he was lied to, not to mention the vice president's role. The book, a rare behind-the-scenes look from a former Bush insider, is due in April.
KING: Joining me now, David Gergen, veteran adviser to presidents from Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton.
So, David, Scott McClellan, we see a blurb from the new book. Washington gossip or something meaningful here?
DAVID GERGEN, FMR. PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Well, it's about as muddy as the Mississippi River, isn't it, John? You can't tell what the heck this guy is saying.
McClellan is not saying or suggesting that the president sent him out to lie, but he certainly heavily suggests that the president was complicit, that the president was somehow an enabler in him going before the press corps and lying about noninvolvement of, you know, Libby and Rove. So what we have here is a press secretary who got burned inside, you know, and he's angry and he's hurt and he's now writing a book and he wants to sell books.
So it's a combination. And I do think it's brought a cloud over the president that is very, very hard to tell exactly what he's saying. I think he owes us an explanation.
KING: Well, as we wait for the book, David, you were a fireman in previous administrations, brought in times of trouble, to help clean up messes. What is it like behind the scenes?
Take us into the Oval Office when you're dealing with a crisis like this presidency was dealing with back in the fall there, when all these allegations from Joe Wilson were out there, dealing with how to rebut him. The press secretary, I assume, wants to be in all the meetings, but what is the risk if somebody who speaks for the president is being sent out based on bad information?
GERGEN: Well, there is that risk. Scott McClellan had just come there in July. This all happened in October. And the problem for the press secretary is this, John -- the press secretary inside the White House almost has to play reporter.
He or she has to go around to the principals involved and ask questions and then trust them to tell him the truth before he goes before the press corps. And in this case, McClellan clearly did that. He went around and asked questions, and at least two people -- we understand that Rove and Libby misled him before he went out.
What's new about this is, he's saying when he went out unknowingly, misled the press, there were five people involved, and he lists the president, the vice president, chief of staff, and Libby and Rove. So we're down to one of these classic cases when he uses the word "involved." It all depends, I'm afraid, John, on what the meaning of the word "involved" involves.
KING: It depends on your definition of involved.
GERGEN: That's absolutely right.
KING: Democrats are having a field day with this, David. Many of the presidential candidates on the Democratic side issuing statements about that.
I want to read you one from Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut. He wants the new attorney general, Mike Mukasey, to investigate.
He says this: "I call on the attorney general to live up to his word and launch an investigation, an immediate investigation, to determine the facts of this case, the extent of any cover-up, and what the president knew and when he knew it."
Political theater there? Do you see any potential legal ramifications of this, or is it just a political drama?
GERGEN: I think this is a political drama. I must say, I don't see the legal ramifications.
Joe Wilson and his wife have filed a civil suit here in this case, and it was thrown out at the lower level. They're appealing that.
Should it go to a civil suit, then there will be some legal implications. But, you know, the special prosecutor has worked on this case extensively, some would say exhaustively, and I think it's been basically behind us.
This is Scott McClellan raising a non-legal issue that's more political than -- and he's raised it in a confusing way that I think he owes the public. I also think he owes the president a clear statement of what this -- what the heck he's really saying here.
KING: Well, we may not get that until the book comes out in April, we are told.
GERGEN: Well, I think that's -- I think that will be wrong. I mean, you know, he did -- you know, he did take the president -- I mean, he was on the president's payroll, and to bring the president in like this to imply somehow that the president and the vice president were somehow responsible for misleading the public, I think he owes it to the president and the vice president, as well as to the public and to the Wilsons to clarify long before his book comes out.
KING: David Gergen, thanks for your thoughts on this...
GERGEN: Thank you.
KING: ... the latest in the continuing political drama of the CIA leak investigation.
David, thanks very much.
GERGEN: Thank you.
KING: Up next, two lawmakers in trouble for two very different reasons.
First, the city councilman you'll recognize from our Katrina coverage.
Check this out. She's a congresswoman, he's a journalist. The story behind the slap coming up.
KING: A 360 follow for you tonight.
Former New Orleans city councilman Oliver Thomas sentenced to three years and change for corruption. Thomas pleaded guilty earlier this year to bribe-taking and promised then to help authorities catch other bad apples in city hall. But what do you know? Prosecutors say Thomas later told them he didn't want to be a rat.
He will, however, be a new fish reporting to prison January 3rd. Not so happy a new year.
Corruption, immigration and more. Ever wonder why they never seem to be get fixed?
CNN's Glenn Beck has some solutions, but you might not always like them. That's why he's calling his new page-turner "An Inconvenient Book: Real Solutions to the World's Biggest Problems."
He talked about it all with Anderson. Take a look.
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: What's the big thing that's driving you crazy right now? You're -- illegal immigration is something you talk a lot about.
GLENN BECK, AUTHOR, "AN INCONVENIENT BOOK": Yes, illegal immigration is I think just an example of how far off the tracks this government has gone, how much sovereignty we have sold out really to our global corporations. The solutions are really common sense. They're...
COOPER: You literally think a wall should be built between Mexico and the United States and between Canada and the United States?
BECK: For security reasons, yes, absolutely. That's not going to stop illegal immigration. That will -- that will dramatically cut it down, but you're not going to stop people from coming in, just like the war on drugs. You've got to stop the desire, you've got to stop the carrot corporations who are...
COOPER: Corporations who want cheap labor.
BECK: Yes, who want the cheap labor. And I can't believe that I would be called a racist or a hatemonger for trying to speak out against these global corporations who are wanting cheap labor. I believe illegal immigration on that front is modern-day slavery.
COOPER: It is interesting in the book and on the radio and on the television. I mean, you get vilified a lot by those who say, look, you're contributing to this -- these divisions in America, this polarization of society. In truth, a lot of, I mean, the solutions that you write about in the book boil down to, let's discuss this, let's get together, whether it's global warming, whether it's immigration.
COOPER: I mean, you're actually not particularly divisive. I mean, you're actually talking -- you're actually a proponent of conversation and discussion.
BECK: Right. The problem is -- and it's so funny, because if you watch the television show, I'll have people on -- I've had Hollywood celebrities on the show for a full hour that swear they hate me when they first sit down. And when they leave, they end up liking me. And it's because we have a lot in common.
We have more in common -- and those things are principles -- we have more in common than we have that separate us. We need to remember, the left and the right, that what divides us are policies, not principles.
COOPER: But we're encouraged by our politicians and by people in the media to focus on those divisions. I mean, we're encouraged to be polarized.
BECK: And that is -- and that is the big lie. I talk a lot about this and political correctness and the political games in this book. That is the big lie. And that's what's really going to destroy us in the end.
I don't know about you, Anderson. I know you travel all around the world. I travel all around the United States, and I sense something happening in this country that I have never sensed before, and that is real discontent and real separation from each other.
We must understand that Democrats, for the most part, are not, you know, dope-smoking hippies that want to take us to the Soviet Union. And Republicans, for the most part, are not evil hatemongering warmongers that just want to blow the world up. There are those people on both ends, but that's not who the average person is. The average person loves America, understands common sense and just wants to get it done.
KING: Anderson there talking to Glenn Beck.
Now we want to get you caught up on some of tonight's other headlines. So here's Erica Hill with a 360 Bulletin.
KING: Now here's John Roberts with a look at what's coming up tomorrow, Thanksgiving morning, on "AMERICAN MORNING."
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, John.
Tomorrow we bring you the most news in the morning, the Thanksgiving edition. We're live from Butterball University answering your e-mails about your holiday bird.
Plus, a family reunion. A father and son serving together in Iraq lay eyes on their parents and grandparents back home in Mississippi.
And meet a couple of real-life action heroes, soldiers who have become models for video games.
Wake up to...
KING: Butterball University.
Up next, if you haven't left for grandma's house yet, take a look at what you're facing. A question, though. Are things as bad nationwide as they look in some places?
We'll check in with Chad Myers.
Also ahead, actor Dennis Quaid's newborn twins reportedly given an overdose of a potentially deadly drug. It's not the first time this has happened.
We're keeping hospitals honest coming up.
KING: Lines at the airport, but not quite the nightmare many were expecting. Close to 40 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more this weekend. That's according to AAA. The question right now, how much of the holiday crunch is turning out A-OK?
CNN's Chad Myers tonight handling traffic and weather. (WEATHER REPORT)
KING: And do you have a Thanksgiving travel horror story? If so, we want to hear from you. Go to CNN.com/360, link to the blog and post your comments. We'll read some of them in the next hour.
Now a shocking story that might have been overlooked, except a celebrity's involved. But it's likely to hit home for anybody who needs medical treatment.
The details in brief? The newborn twins of Dennis Quaid and his wife reportedly given an accidental overdose of a blood thinner at a hospital in Los Angeles. Fortunately, with no adverse effect in this case, according to the hospital.
More on that in a moment, but consider this: The Institute of Medicine reports at least 1.5 million Americans die or experience adverse reactions from avoidable medication errors each year. That's at a cost to hospitals of more than $3 billion a year.
Now David Mattingly "Keeping Them Honest" on a matter of life and death.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Until a few months ago, these containers of the blood thinner heparin looked so similar, but one contained a dose 1,000 times stronger than the other. Patient safety advocates say labeling drugs more clearly should be an easy fix.
MARK MEANEY, NATIONAL INST. FOR PATIENT RIGHTS: It's a problem that has remained on the backburner. And to that extent, it makes me angry to see when this occurs.
MATTINGLY: The celebrity news Web site TMZ reports that on Saturday, twins belonging to actor Dennis Quaid were given a serious heparin overdose at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The hospital admits three patients were mistakenly given a dose 1,000 times too strong. According to a hospital statement, two of them needed medication to counter the overdose, and afterward showed no adverse effects.
(on camera): "Keeping Them Honest," we wanted to know how such a mistake could happen. But Cedars-Sinai Hospital will not comment on the source of the mix-up except to say that it was a preventable error.
An overdose of heparin can be fatal. Three premature babies died at an Indianapolis hospital in 2006 after a pharmacy technician with 25 years experience delivered the wrong vials. Just like at Cedars- Sinai, babies were overdosed with a concentration 1,000 times too strong.
(voice over): After that tragedy, Baxter Pharmaceuticals joined with the FDA in February warning of fatal consequences of misreading its similar blue labels.
(on camera): A spokeswoman for Baxter tells us those labels have since been changed, but would not say if the new ones were in use at Cedars-Sinai. Vials of the higher doses are marked with a black bar and wrapped in a special caution sleeve.
(voice over): Doctors familiar with the drug tell us in most hospitals, heparin is mixed into a baby's i.v. solution in the pharmacy. And when it's used in very small doses, it's a valuable agent to prevent blood clots in newborns. Without it, blood clots could clog nutrients dripping into the baby's system. Clots would also break free and cause serious complications.
DR. FAUD FAKHREDDINE, NEONATOLOGIST: Heart damage, infection, sepsis and stroke.
MATTINGLY: And in spite of heparin precautions, a spokeswoman for the manufacturer says there is still no substitute for careful reading of the labels. At Cedars-Sinai, the worst of tragedies may have been averted, but clearly the danger still exists.
David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.
KING: Up next, more a case perhaps of medical misjudgment than straight-up mistake. Just the same, it can be deadly. Doctors prescribing a powerful narcotic patch, too powerful for a lot of patients.
When 360 continues.
KING: Before the break, a medical error reportedly resulting in Dennis Quaid's newborn twins getting an overdose of blood thinner. It's not uncommon, as David Mattingly reports.
Well over a million people a year having an adverse reaction, even dying, in some cases, from medication errors. Now an often misused medication that has killed more than the pain.
Here's David again looking for answers and "Keeping Them Honest."
MATTINGLY (voice over): It's up to 100 times more potent than morphine, and it could kill you. The pain medication Fentanyl, often delivered in a medicated patch, comes with pages and pages of warnings.
DR. ROBERT ZOROWITZ, VILLAGE NURSING HOME: The patch cannot get too warm. The heating pad or hot water or direct sunlight that causes the temperature to go up will cause the medication to be delivered at a much higher rate. MATTINGLY: Fentanyl patches originally marketed under the name Duragesic by Johnson & Johnson were created as a painkiller of last resort, for patients in constant pain or with terminal cancer who have already built up a tolerance to weaker pain medications. But in spite of government warnings and packaging, experts say this drug continues to be misused with fatal consequences.
MICHAEL COHEN, INST. FOR SAFE MED. PRACTICE: The number one problem that we see is it's misprescribed. It's given to patients who should never receive the drug.
MATTINGLY (on camera): You're about to see one of those tragic cases. It's a man who died after using just one patch prescribed after surgery. And you won't believe what that surgery was for.
DEANA KINAMON, SISTER OF FENTANYL VICTIM: They went in and cut the uvula off the back of his throat.
MATTINGLY: That little thing in the back of your throat, that's what he had cut out?
MATTINGLY: And he did this so he could sleep better?
MATTINGLY (voice over): Bud Kinamon (ph) went to a military hospital in 2005 for surgery to cure sleep apnea. When doctors sent him home with a patch to recover, he went to sleep and never woke up.
KINAMON: So I called 911. And even at that point, I said, "I think my brother is dead."
MATTINGLY: A coroner's report determined Kinamon died of acute Fentanyl intoxication. Just three months earlier, the Food & Drug Administration issued a Fentanyl patch warning following death due to "incorrect use." And the U.S. military forwarded that warning to all its facilities, "Fentanyl patches should not be used to treat short- term pain, pain that is not constant or pain after an operation."
KINAMON: It was prescribed in complete violation of its warnings.
MATTINGLY: From 1998 to 2005, 3,545 deaths were reported to the FDA that had been linked to Fentanyl overdoses. While it's not known what percentage of the deaths were due to misprescribed Fentanyl patches versus abuse of the drug, Michael Cohen of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices maintains misprescribing is the major issue and that there could be thousands more deaths going unreported.
(on camera): Where does the responsibility for all these deaths lie? Is it with the patient? Is it with the doctor? The pharmacist?
COHEN: Well, I think that's a good question. I think a lot of it is on the company. And working with the Food & Drug Administration, we need a much better warning system with these drugs. We need more alerts. We need the physicians to be more aware of it.
MATTINGLY: "Keeping Them Honest," we went to Johnson & Johnson with questions on how Fentanyl warnings could be improved. They sent us to a subsidiary called Ortho-McNeil here in northern New Jersey, but no one here would talk to us on camera.
(voice over): But a company spokesman told us in writing that they communicate consistently with health care professionals and patients, and they continue to support a risk management program, working closely with the FDA. Not enough, according to Michael Cohen.
COHEN: I would like to see much stronger warnings on the wrapper that these patches -- individual patches come in.
MATTINGLY: The drug became available to generic manufacturers in 2005, making it cheaper and more available to patients than ever. We asked the FDA, if people are dying, why do doctors keep misprescribing the Fentanyl patch? That was yesterday. Tonight, a spokesman said they still don't have answer.
David Mattingly, CNN, New York.
KING: Up next, rapper LL Cool J's hero, how he's making a difference for thousands when 360 continues.
KING: Fans of hip-hop know LL Cool J as a superstar who began composing his hard knocks rap in the southeast Queens neighborhood of New York City. LL got inspiration from those mean streets, but inspiration came from another source as well.
As we continue our "CNN Hero Sharing the Spotlight Series," LL introduces us to his hero, a pastor who's brought jobs, housing and ultimately hope to an area LL once called in a song, "Killer killa Queens."
LL COOL J RAP ARTIST: There are so many communities around the country that are depressed. Economically, they're suffering from a lack of ownership and a lack of people just being behind the community and holding it up.
I'm LL Cool J, and Reverend Floyd Flake is my hero because he's helping to rebuild my community and encouraging other communities across the country to do the same.
REV. FLOYD FLAKE, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: Anybody in here want to go higher in your life? Amen.
I came to southeast Queens in 1976. People thought their community was going to the dogs.
LL COOL J: I grew up in this community. It was the epicenter of drug dealing and crack infestation.
FLAKE: People didn't want to stay. There were serious problems of young people getting a good education, problems with homeownership. If this community was going to be strong and project an image of a middle class community, then we had to resolve those problems.
UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: Good morning.
FLAKE: Everybody studying hard?
UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: Yes.
FLAKE: All right.
LL COOL J: Reverend Flake has built a Christian school, a cathedral, senior housing, retail space. He just never stops.
FLAKE: We have built 166 two-family homes and sold to, in most cases, first-time homebuyers.
LL COOL J: He is showing a predominantly African-American community how not to be victims.
FLAKE: For me, it's about environment, people who would have left the community and made a decision to stay and invest here. And it has made it a better and stronger community.
You all be good. All right. I'm rolling.
LL COOL J: When you have a concept that can raise a community and build a community up, and then people see that that concept and those principles really work, they buy into it. And then the flywheel just spins on its own. And all you have to do is just keep feeding it. And I think that's what he's doing.
KING: Go to CNN.com/heroes for more on Reverend Flake's work. And you can vote for the CNN hero who's inspired you most. Your choice could be honored during a live global broadcast on December 6th hosted by our Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour.
KING: Up next, holiday travel troubles, why some are not thankful they have to clock a lot of miles this Thanksgiving.
It's what's on the radar when 360 continues.
KING: A lot of you making your way to your Thanksgiving destinations tonight. Nearly 40 million people on the move this holiday weekend.
Earlier, we asked you to share your travel horror stories on the 360 blog.
"On the Radar," Debbie of Denham Springs, Louisiana. She figures she's going to face big trouble because of an oil fire somewhere near the Atchafalaya Basin. The main route between Baton Rouge and Lafayette is closed until December 4th.
She says, "Traffic is reported to be so thick and so slow on the only alternate routes that it's taking people three to four hours to get from Baton Rouge to Lafayette. Police are directing traffic in the small towns along the way that don't have many traffic lights."
Ouch. Good luck, Debbie.
While Lorie Ann in Buellton, California, says, "Luckily, I'm staying home. However, cooking for a house full of relatives who each have to have a special dish. Five pies, turkey, ham, and enough food to feed all of the state. Well, I really think I'd take the horror of surfing the globe until Christmas just to avoid tomorrow's happy day. Happy travel to all."
You'll be busy, Lorie Ann. Hang in there.
We wish everyone, of course, a happy and a safe Thanksgiving.
To share your travel stories, go to CNN.com/360, link to the blog or send us a v-mail through our Web site.
That does it for 360.
I'm John King, in for Anderson.
Again, please have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
For our international viewers, "CNN TODAY" is next. Here in the states, Larry King coming up.
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