Baby boy's dead body found in Regions Hospital's dirty linens [UPDATE]

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Police and Regions officials are trying to figure out how a stillborn baby's body was sent to Red Wing along with the hospital's dirty linens.
-- Original post published 9 a.m. Wednesday morning; updates at bottom --

Workers at Red Wing's Crothall Laundry made a grisly discovery yesterday morning. As they prepared to wash the dirty linens from Regions Hospital in St. Paul, an infant boy's dead body came tumbling out.

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

It's unclear exactly how the baby's body get there, but according to KSTP, it was a baby stillborn on April 4.

The baby "had a tag on its ankle and was wearing a diaper," KSTP, citing St. Paul police, reports.

According to Fox 9, the baby was placed in the hospital morgue after he was stillborn. But from there, it's unclear how his body got in the dirty linens, which were delivered to the laundry service in Red Wing within 48 hours of the body being discovered yesterday morning.

From the Star Tribune:
Red Wing police were called to Crothall Laundry just before 12:30 p.m., but the body had already been picked up by someone from the hospital and returned to St. Paul, Red Wing Police Chief Roger Pohlman said Tuesday night...

Pohlman said his detectives contacted St. Paul police to open a joint investigation. He said his agency is calling it a "death investigation"...
"It's tough; that's why we're trying to do a thorough job and be careful that we don't try to speculate," Pohlman told the Strib. "Right now, there's just so many unanswered questions, and we want to respect the hospital's and family's rights."

"Somebody should know where this came from," Pohlman continued, adding that there's no indication any foul play was involved.

:::: UPDATE ::::

In a news release, Regions Hospital characterized the incident as "a terrible mistake" and said hospital officials "are deeply sorry."

"We have processes in place that should have prevented this but did not. We are working to identify the gap in our system, and to make sure this does not happen again," the release said.

:::: UPDATE II ::::

Sometimes, a picture tells 1,000 words. So without further ado, we bring you these shots of Chris Boese, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care at Regions, taken during a press conference this morning where she profusely apologized for what she said is an unprecedented mistake:
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7 comments
bethann.bloom
bethann.bloom

It seems likely that this was a sad but honest mistake-a tiny baby was wrapped in multiple blankets and or sheets and taken to the morgue.Later  morgue staff assumed that the body had been claimed by the funeral home and moved the "abandoned" sheets to the laundry hamper missing the presence of the tiny body. Obviously no disrespect was intended and all involved and their supervisors feel terrible for this exacerbation of the family's loss.

Emily Summers Leabch
Emily Summers Leabch

I can't imagine being the parents of that infant. Not many full term stillborns in this day and medical age but to know you delivered a stillborn baby boy on that day at Regions only to have him found in this manner. How horrible!

blainegarrett
blainegarrett

@Emily Summers Leabch Apparently more common than you or I might think.
"The mean stillbirth rate in the United States is approximately 1 in 115 births"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Stillbirth

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