Abbott Hospital gave newborn to wrong mom, who breastfed baby before mixup was noticed

Categories: Health Care
abbott baby.jpeg
Image by Tatiana Craine. Baby photo from Seattleye's Flickr.
Abbott says yesterday's baby mixup is unprecedented. The mother says the error left her emotionally distressed.
An Abbott Northwestern Hospital spokeswoman vows "there will be consequences" after a baby boy was given to the wrong mother and breastfed before the mistake was discovered.

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"As far as we know, this has never happened before at Abbott," spokeswoman Gloria O'Connell told the Star Tribune, adding that the hospital has "policies in place to prevent this sort of thing."

O'Connell told the Strib all moms and newborns are given matching wristbands. Hospital staff are supposed to cross-reference the wristbands "at every step," but something went awry in this case.

A WCCO report includes an interview with Stacy Engebretson, sister of the mother whose baby was given to the wrong woman. Engebretson told 'CCO the mistake occurred early yesterday. From WCCO:
After the mistake was realized, both mothers and Engebretson's nephew had to undergo blood testing for HIV and hepatitis.

Engebretson said her sister Tammy Van Dyke bottle feed her baby [sic] and has suffered emotional distress, beyond the physical implications.

Abbott Northwestern issued Tammy a letter of apology and an admission of negligence, which stated the babies were put in the wrong bassinets.
As we told you about in March, a similar mistake occurred at Virginia Regional Medical Center earlier this year. In that case, the hospital said it was in the process of installing a digital baby-mother matching system in order to prevent human error from allowing another baby mixup to occur.

It's unclear whether Abbott is considering systemic changes in the wake of yesterday's incident, which the hospital says is still under investigation.


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18 comments
marevitals
marevitals

I accidently ate an entire bowl of dog food the other morning, didn't know the difference, so I fed the dog my wheaties and the dog wouldn't eat'em. Go figure.

Chrissy Burgell
Chrissy Burgell

I gave birth at Amplatz. My baby never left my side. They do rooming-in. I also got free acupuncture from a student!

Patrick G. Erhardt
Patrick G. Erhardt

The mother is acting ridiculous about it. She's acting like the baby was abducted at knife point. Hey, you're going to get compensated, turn it down a bit.

gpsy6131
gpsy6131

Abbot is a very very good hospital.  I really don't understand the big concern.  It would have been different if the parents went home with the wrong child, but this was found out while they were still in the hospital.  What's the big deal that the mom nursed the 'wrong' baby???  And.....What kind of horrible trauma do you feel that the baby has faced, therefore going to be in neeed of therapy.  These babies have NOT suffered any trauma because the wrong person nursed him.  That's totally absurd!  Yes, it was a mistake, but nothing traumatic! 

Yankee Doodle Pablo
Yankee Doodle Pablo

That poor infant is going to require years of therapy to overcome that trauma. Or not.

Yankee Doodle Pablo
Yankee Doodle Pablo

That poor infant is going to require years of therapy to overcome that trauma. Or not.

Brie MacDougall
Brie MacDougall

I hope everyone involved was and remains healthy, I'd be upset if a stranger nursed my baby for sure! It's surprising to me how this ever happens. My only hospital-born baby was NEVER out of sight from me or his dad.

Brie MacDougall
Brie MacDougall

I hope everyone involved was and remains healthy, I'd be upset if a stranger nursed my baby for sure! It's surprising to me how this ever happens. My only hospital-born baby was NEVER out of sight from me or his dad.

Moe Kharrazi
Moe Kharrazi

The youngest boy in history to be exposed to a stranger's breasts.

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