Newborn Security

Specialties Ob/Gyn


I am curious as to what other hospitals do to prevent infant abduction.

We have special pink badges

Locked nursery

Baby "shoplifting sensors" on their ankle band (could easily be cut off)

A special code 2000, to practice infant abduction.

What does your unit do?

Dayray, RN

700 Posts

I work at 2 hospitals.

At hospital 1 everyone in maternal child has a second ID badge with a picture and a list of the areas we work in i.e. LDRP, nursery, Post pardom, GYN. We also have a password protected nursery, video cameras and the ability to lock the unit if there is a reason. Only 1 way in and out all others are password locked.

2nd hospital - cameras in the hall, staff are identified by a little pink like under our names on badge. All doors are locked you can only get in or out by swiping your ID badge and only our staff has them. Visitors have to press a button and talk to the hospital operator to get in or out. I like the extra security but the down side to this is that doctors don't like waiting for the operator to answer so if they see you charting they ask you to go let them out and the door is about a mile away from the nurse station.


14 Posts

At our hospital before the infant is taken to the mother for the first time out of transition nursery a security band is placed on the ankle. If this band loses contact with the skin all exits from the maternity wing are immediately locked down and an alarm goes off at the nurse's station and in the nursery. All 3 doors into our newborn nursery and NICU are locked and have keypad entry only. We run a "code pink" drills occasionally.

Mattigan, RN

175 Posts

What about the pediatric units. I am interested in what precautions they have. We have different name tags but other than that I am having a hard time convincing adm. that we need more. It really concerns me. I know nurses that worked at an OKC hospital that had an abduction and it was horrible.


6,620 Posts

We have a security device on their umbilical clamp. It is not easy to get off. It takes me 5 minutes sometimes and I know how to remove them! Unfortunately the ward is not locked, but at least nursery always has staff at the door. PP is a little harder to watch.


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

Floor is locked down, we wear special badges, we have cameras at all exits, code pink drills on occasion, and we enlist the parents' help as PARTNERS in the security of their infants. ( I believe many places forget to do this). WE have them sign a statement of understanding that they share in the responsilbility of the safety and security of their infants. They are not allowed to ever leave them alone, must wheel them in their bassinets about,(not hand-carry them out of their room), they must not let anyone w/o a pink badge take the baby out for ANY reason, be it for labs, or dr assessments, etc, and they must call us if they want to shower or leave the floor.

Don't ever forget the parents as partners in preventing abduction. They share in the responsibility too!!!!!!


1,961 Posts

Well, we only have one way into post partum. All other entrances and exits are locked. Nursery is locked. All maternity staff have ugly green badges (pink or blue would have been appropriate, but it was management that made that decision after all). We instruct moms to only let people with green badges take their babies, and only the green badges work to get into the nursery. We have a number match system on the bands, but nothing high tech like alarms. No carrying babies in the halls. And no kids younger than 6 months are allowed on the unit.

I agree with SmilingBluEyes. Parents have to be involved and know what to do to protect their own children. You'd be surprised how trusting they are to complete strangers. Scary.


live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

The newborn unit and pedi unit I worked on were in a military hospital where security sucked big time. Hospital Security kept telling the hospital AND the Base Commander that they needed to tighten security as a whole. I hope they've listened. :rolleyes:

All I can say is I'm glad I brought home the right baby each time. :chuckle On second thought....:chair:....been wondering about one of 'em......too much like her daddy. :rotfl: I love you, baby girl. :kiss


829 Posts

Our security measures:

1. locked unit

2. pink badges for all perinatal staff

3. locked nsy doors

4. locked l&d doors

5. cameras EVERYWHERE

6. sensor on umbilical cord, 2 bracelets on baby

7. peds pts. have sensor on bracelet

8. if sensor triggers alarm, security comes up, everybody goes a-runnin' to count kiddos and babies, search visitors.

9. safety guidelines given to each parent in writing and verbally by nsg staff.

10. drills run at least once a month

I think our unit is pretty darned safe.


71 Posts

At my hospital, one whole floor is dedicated to perinatal services. Everyone on that floor has a pink badge (the rest of the hospital has blue ones). Postpartum, L&D and nursery are locked units. To get into either, you need a name badge or have to be buzzed in by someone on the unit. Our security is also very good and they will confront anyone anywhere in the hospital that seems to be wandering around. I have actually witnessed them call the police on a group of teenagers who were wandering around and wouldn't tell security who they were there to visit. As a last security measure, when we d/c a patient, if they are leaving with a baby, they have to leave via the ER (where they have a security stations) as opposed to through the main entrance. That way security is able to check the ID band one more time to make sure the right mommy is taking the right baby. As I said before, our security is really on top of things and won't let someone leave unless the unit has called down ahead of time to let them know that someone is going to be d/c. I have also worked at a hospital that used the baby lo-jacks (sensor on the foot). Seemed to work very well.

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