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Switched Baby Breastfed By Wrong Mom

Posted by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 3:05 PM
  • 31 Replies

A new born baby will have to undergo a year of medical tests for HIV and hepatitis because he was accidentally put in the wrong bassinette by a Minnapolis hospital and then breastfed by the wrong mother.

The mix-up happened Wednesday in Abbott Northwestern Hospital when Tammy Van Dyke's little boy Cody was accidentally switched to the wrong bassinette in the nursery.

"You put your baby in the nursery, not even 48-hours old, and you think they're safe," Van Dyke told ABC News today. "I'm holding it together. I'm just in disbelief, and it was like I was in a dream, a bad dream, and I couldn't get it to stop."

Van Dyke was told two hours after the switch happened, just hours before she was going to take Cody home.

The infant had to undergo blood testing for HIV and hepatitis immediately following the switch.

"It was horrible," Van Dyke said. "Two nurses had to go in through veins in his tiny little arms."

Although the tests came back negative, Abbott Northwestern Hospital told Van Dyke her newborn son would have to undergo blood testing every three months for a year.

Hospital spokeswoman Gloria O'Connell said the tests were "just a precaution," but declilned to elaborate because of patient confidentiality.

Van Dyke was able to speak with the other mother, who had to wait 20 minutes before her baby, Liam, was located.

"It gave me peace of mind to talk to her," Van Dyke said. "She was just as distraught as me that this happened to her, and in the meantime, also didn't know where her baby was. She has twins."

Van Dykes, who also has a 2-year-old, said the homecoming shortly after wasn't what she thought it would be.

"I imagined getting up and getting ready and having Cody in the car with his big brother and coming home as a happy family," Van Dyke said. "We were going to videotape the homecoming, showing his room, and I couldn't stop crying. I couldn't put myself together, because it wasn't what I had imagined all this time."

In an apology letter given to her, the hospital states:

"Please accept this letter with our sincerest apologies for what occurred today at the hospital, that in the nursery your newborn son was placed in the wrong bassinette and then was taken to the wrong mother and breastfed. The hospital agrees to pay for the additional testing that you had done today and will also pay for the tests recommended for your son related to this incident up to one year."

And in a press release from Abbott Northwestern, practicing obstetrician and Chief Clinical Officer of Allina Health, Dr. Penny Wheeler, said, "As an obstetrician, I have personally seen verification of the infant's identifying name band matched correctly with the mother's on hundreds of occasions. It is extremely unfortunate that was not the case this time. We sincerely apologize to the involved families and will make certain we understand why our procedures were not appropriately followed in this case."

"I will be thankful to God when this year's over and he's cleared all his health tests and we don't have to think about this again," Van Dyke said

by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 3:05 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Thatwoman on Dec. 7, 2012 at 3:07 PM
3 moms liked this

Ah, the things that just can't happen in a home birth...

by Teflon Don on Dec. 8, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Was the other mother Hiv positive?

by AllieCat on Dec. 8, 2012 at 2:01 PM

I can't even explain what I would be feeling.

by AllieCat on Dec. 8, 2012 at 2:02 PM
2 moms liked this

Quoting paganbaby:

Was the other mother Hiv positive?

I read the article looking for this as well.  Or are the tests a precautionary measure?  If so, why?  And if the other mother is indeed HIV positive, why in the hell would she be breastfeeding at all?

Oh my.

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." ~ Maya Angelou

by on Dec. 8, 2012 at 2:02 PM

This should not have happened in 2012 for frick sake.....SMDH !

by Bronze Member on Dec. 8, 2012 at 2:06 PM
1 mom liked this
I would think if the mother was HIV negative and hepatitis free they shouldn't have to put that baby through invasive testing. I understand there's always a chance she contracted something during her preganancy but why wouldn't they just test her first to check?
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by on Dec. 8, 2012 at 2:06 PM
4 moms liked this
I get it but still the irony that we freak out over a baby getting another moms milk and not over babies getting processed chemicals and sugar regardless of the parents wishes on those nurseries makes me chuckle
by Ruby Member on Dec. 8, 2012 at 2:10 PM
4 moms liked this

What an overreaction.  Did the mother who did breastfeed the baby have HIV or hepatitis?  No? 

Beyond that, it is absolutely idiotic to test the child so quickly after being breastfed, even if the woman did have HIV or hepatitis, because it wouldn't have shown up that quickly.  This whole thing is completely absurd.

by on Dec. 8, 2012 at 2:29 PM

My husband read me the article last night, I see a law suit on the horizon. I cannot understand how that happened as you are supposed to check the wristbands every time they bring back your baby so how did they not see it was NOT THEIR BABY? Makes me sad if the baby caught something from the other mother. So icky.

by on Dec. 8, 2012 at 2:32 PM
1 mom liked this

I read this last night and I laughed a little. Aren't all if not most women tested for HIV and communicable diseases before entering the hospital? COuld't they just read the mother's charts without all of the testing etc. It's breats milk. It's not like someone fed her baby with a bottle. I suspect that would create more of an outrage! Hilarious!

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