Infant Abduction at St. Francis Medical Center
How to Prevent Infant Abduction at Your Medical Facility
On October 22, 2020, Travis Hargrove abducted a baby from St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, Louisiana (KNOE News). Because of the hospital’s safety measures, authorities were contacted quickly and the infant was recovered safely a few hours later. Travis Hargrove is now in custody, and St. Francis revealed that it has several safeguards in place to prevent incidents such as this as well as to react swiftly in the unfortunate event that a baby is abducted.
Examining the Hospital’s Response
St. Francis reported that the baby’s abductor removed the security bracelet attached to the baby, which set off alarms and resulted in a response from police. But was the response fast enough? Travis Hargrove was able to leave the hospital with the baby hidden in his backpack.
It should be noted that most infant protection security bracelets, such as the Safeplace security bracelet used in this incident, need to be tightened regularly to adjust for postpartum weight loss. If no adjustment takes place, the system will generate a “too loose” or “band alarm.” This creates an abundance of alarms which results in “alarm fatigue” of the clinical staff, which lessens the sense of urgency when an actual event occurs. It’s important to have an infant protection system in place that helps account for postpartum weight loss by utilizing a soft, skin-sensing band like the Cuddles infant protection system.
Infant protection systems, such as Accutech’s Cuddles infant security solution, can be the difference between the safe recovery of a stolen infant or the loss of a baby forever. Had the hospital in Monroe not implemented the security measures they did, the outcome of this abduction could have been very different.
The hospital should be commended for having a security system in place to protect the babies under their care; however, we can’t be sure whether the security system they were using contributed to this incident. The staff should examine their response to ensure they acted swiftly. If there were issues with the fit of the baby’s security bracelet, they need to look at how they can correct deficiencies or look at obtaining a different security system.
Security Measures Hospitals Can Implement
To protect infants in their care, hospitals, birthing centers, and pediatric units should implement safety protocols and access control systems similar to the ones St. Francis Medical Center utilized.
For instance, St. Francis Medical Center has ID checks in place as well as cameras, tracking devices, and other access control measures. Accutech has access control systems that hospitals, elder care facilities, and pediatric centers can utilize to create a safer environment for patients.
Your hospital or pediatric center should incorporate safety features that safeguard the children who are under your protection. Not only do security cameras and other safety measures protect you from liability, but they also save lives and prevent abductions.
What Types of Security Measures Should You Utilize?
Every hospital, birth center, or pediatric unit is different, and their needs will be different. A few common safety features you could use for your infant ward or child care medical facility are:
- Security cameras
- ID checks
- Computer logs or manual sign-ins
- Security gates and locking doors
- Access control systems such as card swipe or badge entry
- Infant protection systems
- Infant footprint scanning like Certascan by Accutech
Why Is Access Control and Infant Security Important?
The last thing anyone ever wants to happen after a child is born is to lose that child to abduction. But planning for the worst possible scenarios can prevent these outcomes from happening. In the event that a child is abducted, access control and security measures can make it easier to recover a stolen child through fast response times, camera identification, and evidence collection capabilities.
Access control can tell you who checked into a hospital, where they went in the facility, what they look like, what time the baby was abducted, and what direction the abductor headed in. Your chances of finding and safely retrieving a stolen infant are much higher when you have security measures in place.
Need Infant Protection or Access Control at Your Medical Center?
It’s unfortunate that you have to guard against infant abduction, but you probably would rather avoid the frightening situation that St. Francis Medical Center found itself in. Accutech Healthcare Security Solutions provides a range of infant safety solutions to choose from. We provide:
- Cuddles Infant Protection (Bracelet Monitoring)
- Certascan Digital Footprinting
- Kidz Pediatric Elopement Solution
- Accutech Access Control
If you take care of children at a hospital, pediatric center, birthing center, or other medical facility, you will probably want to have some security measures in place to protect the children who depend on you for their safety. Also, your liability can be reduced through the use of security protocols and systems.
To learn more about access control systems for infants, connect with Accutech Healthcare Security Solutions. Obtain affordable, reliable security you can trust. Get a free security consultation today.
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