INFANT PROTECTION SYSTEMS FLAG BABY SWITCH IN PLANO HOSPITAL
With advancements in hospital security technology, one might think there’s a small chance of infant mix-ups among birthing centers. However, a story from Plano, TX shows that a “baby switch” can still occur.
Last week several news sources reported the recent “baby switch” at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Plano. The Houston Chronicle reported that two newborn baby boys were returned to the wrong parents after circumcision. Neither one of the parents caught the mix-up. One mother even fed the wrong child. The switch wasn’t identified until a nurse performing an infant hearing test typed in the security band numbers 3 hours later and realized the baby boy was not with the right family.
How did This Accidental Baby Switch Happen?
Even as a leading manufacturer of RFID-based infant protection systems, we struggled to comprehend how this mix-up occurred.
The Houston Chronicle’s report from the Associated Press stated:
“The infants had been circumcised at about the same time last month and their code numbers — 27988 and 27980 — were similar. They were placed in the wrong cribs in the nursery when they came back from the surgeries.”
The hospital attributed the mix-up to human error.
How to Prevent a Baby Switch In Your Hospital
Writing about the incident, columnist Katie Fairbank from the Dallas Morning News points out that,
“Summary data reported voluntarily by hospitals to the Joint Commission shows that only two infants were discharged to the wrong families since 2004.”
Accutech’s infant protection systems help to keep these cases low. Even with outstanding hospital security protocols, this story reminds us of the attention and detail it takes to keep your hospital secure. Protection systems must not only be implemented but hospital staff and volunteers must also be properly trained to work with their security systems.
The Plano hospital made public statements, ensuring that “in addition to the re-education of staff, volunteers are no longer transporting newborns back to the room.”
We’re encouraged by the commitment of the hospital to infant security, the effectiveness of infant security bands to identify a critical error, and that each baby boy was quickly returned to the right family.
Learn more about our recommended best practices for securing infants at your hospital.
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