TIP # 1

Hospitals that use Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) should place cameras and recorders on a preventive maintenance program to insure that surveillance systems work in the event of an abduction. There have been previous abductions where the image of the abductor could not be captured because at the time of the abduction, the system was not working as it should. CCTV systems should be checked daily to insure that they are working properly.

Hospitals that are still using the old technology black & white surveillance cameras with VHS tape storage should up-grade their cameras, multiplexers, monitors, and storage devices to state-of-the-art, color, digital technology with digital archiving for event storage and retreival.

TIP # 2

After hours, be aware of attempts by persons who may try to gain access to the Mother / Baby or Pediatric Unit via the Emergency Department.  Many abductors use the EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT location for gaining entry into these sensitive locatons.

"DO NOT ALLOW anyone to gain access into the EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT, Mother / Baby or Pediatric Unit without showing appropriate photo identification and stating their purpose for requesting entry.

TIP # 3

MOTHER / BABY MIX-UP PREVENTION: Parent / Child Banding is designed to prevent nursing from giving a baby to the wrong mother.

Mother / Baby Mix-Ups (Switching) occur when:

  • Newborns are not immediately banded at birth
  • An infant band is placed on the wrong baby
  • The Infantís ID is not checked when returning the baby to their bassinet, isolette, or infant warmer
  • The Infant ID is not checked when returning the baby to the mother, father, or significant other
  • Nursing practices that place the band on the wrist of the baby instead of the ankle

Preventive Measures:

  • Nursing Staff should read the infantís identification number out loud to the mother and have the mother verify the infantís ID number.
  • Verify the infantís ID number with the ID number on the crib card before returning the the baby to the bassinet, isolette, or infant warmer.
  • Provide adequate staffing for both your Mother / Baby and Pediatric Units
  • Staff that are over worked or over extended are susceptible to fatigue, which is a major contributing factor to mother / baby mix-ups.
  • Educate the mother, father, and/or significant other concerning the banding process and their responsibility to make a positive identification during each infant transfer.

Make sure that the infant band is always snug and does not need tightening while the baby is in the hospital.  The highest risk of misidentification during the infantís hospital stay occurs during the banding and matching processes.   HOSPITAL PERSONNEL SHOULD CHECK THE BABYíS IDENTIFICATION NUMBER TO MAKE SURE IT MATCHES THE PARENT BEFORE ANY TEST IS PERFORMED AND BEFORE DISCHARGE IS ALLOWED.