Infant lucky to be alive after medicine dosage error

An eight-week-old baby is lucky to be alive after being given a dose of drugs ten times stronger than what he'd been prescribed.

Excess use of the drugs can be deadly, and his parents say they've received no apology for what could have been a fatal error.

Tuffin by name and tough by nature. Little Sydney Tuffin was born with two holes in his heart -- he requires surgery immediately but it keeps being pushed back.

He's still recovering after Middlemore Retail Pharmacy -- which operates within, but separate to Middlemore Hospital - got the dose wrong for a drug called furosemide.

"It was meant to be 0.5 mils once a day but the pharmacist put on the box five mils per day," says his dad Ben Tuffin.

The drug was to keep fluid off Sydney's lungs and allow him to gain enough weight and strength to undergo surgery.

Sydney's parents thought they were doing everything right giving him the medicine once a day through his nasal tube.

"It kind of got worse and worse over time, and then every food we were giving him he would just start throwing up  and it was always the colour of the medication which was yellow," says Nina Brickland.

That's when they took Sydney back to hospital and the error was discovered.

But they say they've had no apology.

"There was no verbal apology and it's almost like they were just trying to sweep it under the carpet and move on and we need other families to know just to be careful," says Mr Tuffin.

The effects of furosemide can be deadly.

Overuse can lead to dehydration which can then lead to kidney failure, brain damage, and even death.

Middlemore Retail Pharmacy wouldn't appear on camera but when contacted by Newshub they told us the matter has been dealt with and it's been referred to the Health and Disability Commission.

It's too early to tell if Sydney will have any sort of brain damage meaning his parents now face an anxious wait over the next few years.

To donate to the family’s Givealittle page click here.