Contest Entries

Your Hospital's Deadly Secret

Entrants: Katherine Eban and Jacob Lewis (editor)

Affiliation: Conde Nast Portfolio

General Interest Magazines below 1 million circ.

Year: 2008

Place: Second Place

Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.

The story of baby Alyssa's death started with a tip from a state regulator: A preemie who was born at just 1.4 pounds and was 12 inches long but was, against all odds, thriving and going to survive, was killed when the pharmacy of a Las Vegas hospital mistakenly gave her 1,000 times the prescribed dosage of zinc sulfate.

Judges' comments: Katherine Eban crafted a moving tale that underscored how tragic it was that a baby should die because of a senseless error in a hospital pharmacy. Detailing the interactions between the pharmacist who, in part, caused the error and the baby's mother added additional depth. Eban clearly conveyed how these types of errors happen, and she and her sources imply that the out-sourcing of hospital pharmacies could be to blame.

Read "Your Hospital's Deadly Secret."

See the contest questionnaire in which the reporter writes about how this story was written.  

Katherine Eban shares tips on reporting on medical errors