New Technology To Prevent Baby Mix-Ups

(Memphis) A Minneapolis Hospital made National Headlines earlier this month after admitting it mixed up two newborns.

One of the infants was breastfed by the wrong mother and will have to undergo a year of medical tests for HIV and hepatitis.

Baptist Memorial is taking steps to make sure nothing like that happens at its facility.

Babies at Baptist Women’s Hospital already wear wrist bands with a transmitter that alerts the medical staff if a baby is taken out of a certain area.

Soon mothers and babies will both be wearing the electronic bracelets.

When the baby and mom are together they will light up indicating the right baby is with  baby is with the right mother.

Right now the hospital is using matching ID wrist bands for baby and mother.

In the neonatal unit, where most moms are pumping breast milk for their babies, they are now using a barcode system.

The mother labels the bottle.

There is barcode on the label that must match the barcode on the baby’s wrist band.

“Then when the baby gets the milk, whether it’s the mom giving it or the nurse giving it, there is a check. They have a scanner and they barcode the milk. They barcode the baby and they scan the baby twice and then on the computer screen it tells them if everything matches and they are ready to go,” said Chief Nursing Officer Carol Thetford.

In the past, two nurses had to double-check to make sure the bottles matched the babies.

The hospital hopes to begin using the new electronic wrist bands on new moms in a few months.

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