Baby switches

  1. Does anyone know where I can obtain statistics on babies who were given to the wrong mother on couplet units??? I work in couplet care now but have noticed this error has happened at every place I've worked...I would like to research it...it sure is devastating to the nurse when it happens and many times it is a function of understaffing ...my opinion I know... but I would love data to support my hypothesis so that I can try to institute better nurse patient ratios where I work...
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   nekhismom
    Maybe you can ask a mod to move this forum to the general nursing discussion, or the OB/GYN discussion. You may get more info in that forum than the introduce yourself forum.

    Other than that, I have nothing helpful to answer your question.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    wow.that I know of, it has NEVER happened where I work. Shivers.....I pray it never does, either. I check arm/leg bands ALL THE TIME to prevent it happening on MY watch.
  5. by   colleen10
    I'm really interested in OB/GYN nursing even though I'm just a student right now, so please don't mind me jumping in.

    To what extent are you saying that babies are "switched"?

    Do you mean that maybe the baby and mom have their matching arm bands on, but perhaps when an infant is given to their mother to be fed or to room in with her, the wrong infant is picked up and transported to the mother and the arm bands are not checked?

    Or, are you saying that babies some how really get switched and the wrong arm/leg band is placed on them?
  6. by   gwk
    Quote from colleen10
    I'm really interested in OB/GYN nursing even though I'm just a student right now, so please don't mind me jumping in.

    To what extent are you saying that babies are "switched"?

    Do you mean that maybe the baby and mom have their matching arm bands on, but perhaps when an infant is given to their mother to be fed or to room in with her, the wrong infant is picked up and transported to the mother and the arm bands are not checked?

    Or, are you saying that babies some how really get switched and the wrong arm/leg band is placed on them?
    I mean bands are on and someone forgets to check..wrong mom is temporarily given someone elses baby and feeds it... tempers flare and everyone is upset...this has happened at all 4 nurseries I have worked at and that involves 3 different states...(by the way just to clarify...it was Not me .. kinda sounds like it from my posting) but I am hyperdiligent as I have seen it happen and the nurse is always devastated and quite frankly these are usually fantastic nurses who NORMALLY always check also but something usually precipitates a momentary lapse in their usual procedure..from my experience it only happens when staffing is bad...I certainly see a way to resolve this but have chosen throughout my career to stay a peon floor nurse...managers only look at budget and have to answer to a higher accounting...In my experience I have seen wonderful floor nurses try to go into management and they dont cut it if they try to protect their nurses from understaffing...just my opinion but hey 28 years of experience and i keep seeing the same old things happen...ya gotta wonder... .be safe...
  7. by   Dayray
    I've seen it happen a few times and almost happen many times. Where I work they are constantly reminding us to check bands before we put them on.

    I think every effort should be made to avoid this but it inevitably is going to happen babies although each individuals and special in their own ways kind of look the same when wrapped up in blankets and even the best attempts to band them will eventually come up short.

    back when i worked pp. I walked into a room to assess mom and baby. While assessing the baby I noticed that it's leg band had a different name from the one posted on the crib. The Mom had just finished breast feeding!!! I took the baby to the nursery and went into the room of the patient who's name was on the babies leg band and she was breast feeding too!!! I swooped that baby away too and we figured out that these were in fact the wrong babies for the wrong mothers.

    I let my charge nurse tell the moms, one was pretty upset the other just thought it was funny but I think it would have to be pretty traumatic I mean wouldn't you wonder if you took home the right one, after not being able to tell when you were feeding them?
  8. by   CoffeeRTC
    Wow..breast feeding someone elses baby :uhoh21: I had to chime in on this one since I just had mine last week...Didn't the moms recognize that the babies looked different???
  9. by   gwk
    Quote from michelle126
    Wow..breast feeding someone elses baby :uhoh21: I had to chime in on this one since I just had mine last week...Didn't the moms recognize that the babies looked different???
    no they did not...the nurses discovered it..
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    wow eyepopping stories here.....serves as a very good reminder to really really pay attention myself. Iwish I could point you to statistics regaring baby switching. I would be intrigued as I guess it's more common than I thought! Awful.
  11. by   mother/babyRN
    I have never seen it happen but then the policy of band checking is strictly enforced in the places I have been.
  12. by   BittyBabyGrower
    Quote from mother/babyRN
    I have never seen it happen but then the policy of band checking is strictly enforced in the places I have been.
    We use a security system called HUGS...the mom's tag and the baby's tags are matched in L/D and if the wrong baby goes to the wrong mom it sends a signal to the central system and an alarm goes off for that room. It is also our security system so that if a baby gets near or out the door and the alarm is set off our floor goes into lockdown.

    We had the wrong baby go with a social worker one time...that was pretty bad!
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    oh where there are humans, there is room for error. No lie. BUT nothing beats the watchful eyes and attention to detail of the health care workers involved. NO system will do this for us. We have to do our best to check bands everytime a baby leaves the room for ANY reason and again when they go back. And NO ONE but a banded person is ever able to transport a baby out of the room, period. No system is foolproof, but we can only do our best. Our families depend on it.
  14. by   karenmcd
    I have heard that it happened where I am and the nurse basically did not check the band. Of course, she was busy and that is what she said her reason for not checking it was. It is something that could easily be prevented by simply checking the bands.

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