Breastfeeding wrong baby: Washington Post article — The Bump
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Breastfeeding wrong baby: Washington Post article

Did anyone see this article in the Wash Post this morning?

Thoughts?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/27/AR2010072705976.html?hpid=artslot

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Re: Breastfeeding wrong baby: Washington Post article

  • I don't know, it kind of seems like this woman is overreacting. It's of course negligent and never should have happened but your LO is ok and plenty of women breastfed different babies in the past.

    Our hospital confirmed our identity by matching up numbers on the baby and on me every single time they brought the baby back from the nursery. Now I know why they do this.

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  • It's terrible that basic procedures (checking ID bracelets) weren't followed, which would have prevented the mixup in the first place.  It would also be insanely frustrating that the hospital is in CYA mode more than providing the parents the information and assurance they need.  I'm sure the probability of any harm is low but you'd still want assurances. 

    I have to say I don't understand how you would not realize you were BFing another baby.  I knew exactly what my daughter looked like.  In fact, she never left our sights.  She stayed in my room, and when she went to the nursery for brief checkups my husband always went with her.  She was always seen first and returned because she was the only baby with daddy tagging along. 

     

  • That sounds like an episode of The Office where Pam accidentally breastfed her hospital roommate's baby. I'd be livid if the hospital "mixed up" my baby with someone else's, but for a number of reasons. The breastfeeding issue wouldn't be at the top of the list.
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  • I just read this article! Everyone asks me why I'm going to Sibley (though Sibley was mentioned in the article about a mixup too) instead of Arlington. I just can't imagine this happening. While I realize the risk is very low that some ill effect would come to the baby, I can also understand the family wanting some answers. That the hospital isn't cooperating and in CYA mode makes me very suspicious. Of course they don't want to get sued, but they probably deserve to be sued. 

    I always thought that I would send the baby back to the nursery at night so that I could rest. Not anymore. I'm going to keep the baby in the room with me.  

  • image gtown_bride:
    That sounds like an episode of The Office where Pam accidentally breastfed her hospital roommate's baby. I'd be livid if the hospital "mixed up" my baby with someone else's, but for a number of reasons. The breastfeeding issue wouldn't be at the top of the list.

    Totally! 

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  • Um, I would freak out to the highest heavens. Exposure to someone else's bodily fluids? To me, it's not that different than if my kid got an injection with a used needle.

    And I do see how it could happen. I had a non-medicated birth and there are sections of the night that he was born that I only remember vaguely.

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  • Personally I think the couple is being ridiculous.  The baby's fine, the mom's blood came back clean for the diseases that can be transferred by breast milk - it was an accident, but hardly tragic.  That they aren't getting the actual toxicological reports, come on, I can't even have my insurance benefits claims administrator look into anything without signing a HIPPA release, the hospital cannot release that information, it is confidential.  If the hospital seems to be in CYA mode it's because the overly litigious parents mentioned are backing them into that corner.  If it had been me, I would be concerned but that mom seems to be overly irate.  Directing your passion at correcting the problem and working with the hospital to ensure that future mistakes are not made is one thing, that's not the direction she's going.  She sounds a little off the rocker to me.    
  • image Hey Jellisy:
    Personally I think the couple is being ridiculous.  The baby's fine, the mom's blood came back clean for the diseases that can be transferred by breast milk - it was an accident, but hardly tragic.  That they aren't getting the actual toxicological reports, come on, I can't even have my insurance benefits claims administrator look into anything without signing a HIPPA release, the hospital cannot release that information, it is confidential.  If the hospital seems to be in CYA mode it's because the overly litigious parents mentioned are backing them into that corner.  If it had been me, I would be concerned but that mom seems to be overly irate.  Directing your passion at correcting the problem and working with the hospital to ensure that future mistakes are not made is one thing, that's not the direction she's going.  She sounds a little off the rocker to me.    

    Totally agree. She's a lawyer and it sounds like she wants to sue the pants off of anyone involved.  Like you said, if it had been me, I'd be an advocate for making some policy changes at the hospital.  It just sounds to me like she's making a case for emotional harm because she couldn't find her baby in the nursery and had to get over the "horror" of learning that someone else BF'd her baby. It's not like she learned that the other mom beat her baby. 

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  • image Useonfire:

    image Hey Jellisy:
    Personally I think the couple is being ridiculous.  The baby's fine, the mom's blood came back clean for the diseases that can be transferred by breast milk - it was an accident, but hardly tragic.  That they aren't getting the actual toxicological reports, come on, I can't even have my insurance benefits claims administrator look into anything without signing a HIPPA release, the hospital cannot release that information, it is confidential.  If the hospital seems to be in CYA mode it's because the overly litigious parents mentioned are backing them into that corner.  If it had been me, I would be concerned but that mom seems to be overly irate.  Directing your passion at correcting the problem and working with the hospital to ensure that future mistakes are not made is one thing, that's not the direction she's going.  She sounds a little off the rocker to me.    

    Totally agree. She's a lawyer and it sounds like she wants to sue the pants off of anyone involved.  Like you said, if it had been me, I'd be an advocate for making some policy changes at the hospital.  It just sounds to me like she's making a case for emotional harm because she couldn't find her baby in the nursery and had to get over the "horror" of learning that someone else BF'd her baby. It's not like she learned that the other mom beat her baby. 

    ditto, this woman needs to calm down about the bm issue. clearly, the child is fine. it's the fact that they gave her baby to someone else that I would have been freaking out about. and if I were her, I'd want to turn this into a positive thing to get better procedures in place at VHC and other hospitals.

    she sounds like she's salivating to sue and hamming up the unnecessary "emotional trauma" aspect of this.

  • image ktwilley:

    I just read this article! Everyone asks me why I'm going to Sibley (though Sibley was mentioned in the article about a mixup too) instead of Arlington. I just can't imagine this happening. While I realize the risk is very low that some ill effect would come to the baby, I can also understand the family wanting some answers. That the hospital isn't cooperating and in CYA mode makes me very suspicious. Of course they don't want to get sued, but they probably deserve to be sued. 

    I always thought that I would send the baby back to the nursery at night so that I could rest. Not anymore. I'm going to keep the baby in the room with me.  

    Uh, I delivered at VHC. My son and I received nothing but top-notch care. Even after reading this article, I have zero reservations about recommending the hospital to anyone. These parents are way overreacting, so of course the hospital is in CYA mode--they are trying to avoid a frivolous lawsuit that could potential drive up health care costs.

    My MIL was an hospital inspector for the Joint Commission for hospital accreditation and after hearing her stories, I can tell you that mistakes happen everywhere at even the very best hospitals.

    And many (I'd be willing to bet it's the majority) of the moms on this board sent their babies to the nursery so they can get some rest and ALL of them were returned to them just fine. If you are more comfortable keeping your baby with you, that's fine. But deciding not to because of this story is kind of like saying you'll never ride in a car again after reading about a car accident.

  • image eeclem:

    image gtown_bride:
    That sounds like an episode of The Office where Pam accidentally breastfed her hospital roommate's baby. I'd be livid if the hospital "mixed up" my baby with someone else's, but for a number of reasons. The breastfeeding issue wouldn't be at the top of the list.

    Totally! 

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  • I would have been FREAKED about them misplacing the baby. I mean, wtf? That must have been unbelievably stressful. But the breastfeeding thing . . . meh. Breastmilk is good for babies! The woman didn't have any diseases, she just (accidentally) fed him. Honestly, we had trouble getting DS to latch; I think I would have just been psyched he got some BM.

    This makes the case for me, though, to keep the baby in with you at all times (not send them to the nursery). That's what we did with DS and I'm so glad.

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  • I would have freaked out about the baby missing, but I do think she's overreacting about the bfing a bit.

    Stories like this were why I didn't want ds to go to the nursery alone. I was bent and determined I wouldn't let it happen. Well, after I had been awake for 24 hours, gone through labor, etc...my blood pressure was too high, DH was also exhausted and had been up just as long (this was during H1N1 restrictions, so it was just us), and the nurses strongly suggested I let them take him to the nursery so I could rest a little (I was just so worried even when he was sleeping in the room with us!). It was a much needed 2 hour break and we did the same thing, 1 two hour stretch the next night too. ID bands were checked constantly, I was always asked to check too, etc. Nurseries can be good things!

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  • This could happen (and has happened) at any hospital anywhere.  We delivered both of our girls at VHC, and would do it again.  Mistakes happen, that's life.  

    Having said that, I don't really think the woman is overreacting.  If you read the entire article, you'll see that she was not only freaked out about the fact that her baby was nursed by someone else, but also by the sheer fact that her baby was missing.  I would have lost my mind in those few frantic minutes trying to find my baby.  Discovering that he had been nursed, with another woman's bodily fluids, would have sent me over the edge.  

    We tried once with each of our babies to send them to the nursery so we could get some rest, but both times it proved to be a little much for us to handle, and we brought them back within an hour or less.  The "what-ifs" were just a little scary for us.  When DD #2 was born last week, DH stayed with her every second that he possibly could when I couldn't get out of bed.  You can never be too careful. 

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  • image babypuplove:

    This could happen (and has happened) at any hospital anywhere.  We delivered both of our girls at VHC, and would do it again.  Mistakes happen, that's life.  

    Having said that, I don't really think the woman is overreacting.  If you read the entire article, you'll see that she was not only freaked out about the fact that her baby was nursed by someone else, but also by the sheer fact that her baby was missing.  I would have lost my mind in those few frantic minutes trying to find my baby.  Discovering that he had been nursed, with another woman's bodily fluids, would have sent me over the edge.  

    We tried once with each of our babies to send them to the nursery so we could get some rest, but both times it proved to be a little much for us to handle, and we brought them back within an hour or less.  The "what-ifs" were just a little scary for us.  When DD #2 was born last week, DH stayed with her every second that he possibly could when I couldn't get out of bed.  You can never be too careful. 

    I agree completely with this.  The purpose of constantly checking the matching name bands is because the baby is a helpless being who can't protect himself.  It was completely negligent for the hospital staff to allow the baby to go to the wrong room.  While not with his parents, the hospital staff were responsible for that child.  Was it a mistake? Sure.  Was the baby ok in the end?  Yes.  Does that make it ok?  Not a chance.  It seems strange to me that so many people think she's overreacting.  I'd be raising holy hell if this happened to my child.

    That said, I've delivered at VHC once, and plan to again in the future.  I agree that mistakes can, and will, happen at any hospital.  But it's easy to say she's overreacting when it isn't you and your child who have been in the situation.

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  • I missed in the article that the woman was a lawyer.  I don't blame the hospital for being in CYA mode, although I actually think most lawyers are less likely to jump to suing than more so.  They may be better advocates, but I for one don't want to be in court unless I have no choice.  It's too expensive and too time consuming.  Lawyers understand this better than anyone.

    The thing that scares me about this isn't so much the BM issue, but just those few minutes where the mom didn't know where the baby was.  I can NOT imagine how she felt.  The BM issue may be as much the reporter's take/bias as it is the mom's.   It's hard to say.  The hospital clearly messed up.  

    I'm delivering at VHC in a few weeks.  This article doesn't make me concerned about being there at all.  In fact, if anything, I'm guessing they will be particularly careful now.  But, it does make me think twice about sending the baby to the nursery (which it would regardless of the hospital).  

  • This totally freaked me out!  I would be petrified if I couldn't find my baby, if only for a couple of minutes.

    Even though it was a mistake, and doesn't happen that frequently, if you're the person it happens to, then it's just awful.  If we were to have to end up in the hospital, DH is under strict instructions to be with BabyTiara every second that I can't be.

  • image vml14:
    image babypuplove:

    Having said that, I don't really think the woman is overreacting.  If you read the entire article, you'll see that she was not only freaked out about the fact that her baby was nursed by someone else, but also by the sheer fact that her baby was missing.  I would have lost my mind in those few frantic minutes trying to find my baby.  Discovering that he had been nursed, with another woman's bodily fluids, would have sent me over the edge.  

    I agree completely with this.  The purpose of constantly checking the matching name bands is because the baby is a helpless being who can't protect himself.  It was completely negligent for the hospital staff to allow the baby to go to the wrong room.  While not with his parents, the hospital staff were responsible for that child.  Was it a mistake? Sure.  Was the baby ok in the end?  Yes.  Does that make it ok?  Not a chance.  It seems strange to me that so many people think she's overreacting.  I'd be raising holy hell if this happened to my child.

    I agree. It is definitely not OK and I'd be beyond terrified and pissed if I couldn't find my baby. What a nightmarish experience for her. I also find it hard to believe that the other woman didn't realize it wasn't her baby. Thirty years ago a hospital brought the wrong baby to my mom to BF but she immediately knew it wasn't my brother and sent the baby back.

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  • The majority of the comments on the post are really harsh. 
  • I would have freaked the F out if my baby was missing, even for a few minutes.  I can't even imagine.  And I also would've been really worried about what the other woman could have passed onto my baby through her breastmilk.  I do find it really strange that the other woman didn't realize she was BFing the wrong baby. 

    I understand mistakes happen, but this is a HUGE mistake in my opinion.  I thought it was protocol to always ask the patient to see their wristband, ask for their name and check the baby's wristband as well.  I wouldn't go so far as to sue the hospital (that's a bit much imo) but I would definitely want some changes made re: hospital procedures.

  • I don't think the mom is overreacting AT ALL - on either the "missing baby front" or on the "fed the wrong BM front".  If I were in the same position, I would totally sue.

    I'd never feed my baby another woman's breastmilk.  There is too little information out there about the risks and effects.  I mean, breastpump manufacturers and the FDA don't even "allow" sharing of breastpumps due to the potential risks of a used machine possibly aerating little BM particles and having them mixed into your BM.

     

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  • I'm a first timer so I'm just making assumptions here, but I think I'd be really disturbed at the idea of someone else feeding my child.  However, I'd be livid at the carelessness of the staff. If anything, I'd cause a stink to get it out there so it didn't happen to someone else (with a much worse outcome possible).

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  • I would be totally pissed about the missing baby and the breastmilk. Good to know that the woman had no diseases but I would want to know the toxicology reports (what if she was on drugs??) I do not think the woman in the article is over-reacting at all.

     

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  • image DCbride07:
    The majority of the comments on the post are really harsh. 

    LOL.

    If you think this is harsh, you should go play on the national boards for a while.

    Just to be clear, I don't think she overreacted at the time. I give her a total pass if she went completely batshiitcrazy when this happened. I know I would have--what with new mom anxiety, pregnancy hormones and general panic about the potential for something terrible happening to her baby. I get that.

    But it's been 6 months. Her baby is 100% fine. I think she should have gained some perspective by now. It really sounds to me like she is going to sue and I feel strongly that she has no grounds for that. You don't sue someone because of what could have happened. It's frivolous and those kinds of lawsuits are what drives up health care costs for the rest of us.

  • image bh2720:

    image DCbride07:
    The majority of the comments on the post are really harsh. 

    LOL.

    If you think this is harsh, you should go play on the national boards for a while.

    Just to be clear, I don't think she overreacted at the time. I give her a total pass if she went completely batshiitcrazy when this happened. I know I would have--what with new mom anxiety, pregnancy hormones and general panic about the potential for something terrible happening to her baby. I get that.

    But it's been 6 months. Her baby is 100% fine. I think she should have gained some perspective by now. It really sounds to me like she is going to sue and I feel strongly that she has no grounds for that. You don't sue someone because of what could have happened. It's frivolous and those kinds of lawsuits are what drives up health care costs for the rest of us.

    I agree, if this had happened a week or two ago, I think this woman would be completely justified in her outrage but her baby was born in January, it's the end of July, everyone is fine.  If her focus was on asking the hospital on the measures and training it has in place for ensuring this doesn't happen again, that's one thing, and one I would applaud.  It just seems to me that her focus is punitive and as far as I can tell, other than some momentary distress, there was no harm done.  Yes, that was a scary experience but it's long over.  We've had plenty of scary experiences with DD: a Cystic Fibrosis false positive, a nasty fall, etc.  She's in for a lifetime of them.  If you don't move on from them and use them as learning opportunities, I can only imagine the kind of over-protective helicopter parent you would become.         

  • The fact that it happened would piss me off with the employee, not the hospital itself b/c their policies were not followed.  The BM thing would freak me out until testing came back, then I'd be ok.  I'm sure she is sueing the hospital to get more money than if she sued the employee.

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  • I think maybe she could move on more easily if she felt the hospital was more interested in a little TLC to a distraught mother than CYA mode.  I can understand why it's frustrating to have to take the hospital's word for it that everything is fine.  Sucking it up isn't easy.   
  • image bh2720:
    image ktwilley:

    I just read this article! Everyone asks me why I'm going to Sibley (though Sibley was mentioned in the article about a mixup too) instead of Arlington. I just can't imagine this happening. While I realize the risk is very low that some ill effect would come to the baby, I can also understand the family wanting some answers. That the hospital isn't cooperating and in CYA mode makes me very suspicious. Of course they don't want to get sued, but they probably deserve to be sued. 

    I always thought that I would send the baby back to the nursery at night so that I could rest. Not anymore. I'm going to keep the baby in the room with me.  

    Uh, I delivered at VHC. My son and I received nothing but top-notch care. Even after reading this article, I have zero reservations about recommending the hospital to anyone. These parents are way overreacting, so of course the hospital is in CYA mode--they are trying to avoid a frivolous lawsuit that could potential drive up health care costs.

    My MIL was an hospital inspector for the Joint Commission for hospital accreditation and after hearing her stories, I can tell you that mistakes happen everywhere at even the very best hospitals.

    And many (I'd be willing to bet it's the majority) of the moms on this board sent their babies to the nursery so they can get some rest and ALL of them were returned to them just fine. If you are more comfortable keeping your baby with you, that's fine. But deciding not to because of this story is kind of like saying you'll never ride in a car again after reading about a car accident.

    This. I delivered at VHC and was provided with excellent care.  I kept the baby in the nursery at night as well and when she would return to my room all braclets/ids were matched before I even had the baby in my arms.  I am sure Sibley has had its share of mishaps.  Errors happen at EVERY hospital.

    I think this woman is taking this a little too far suing, asking for medical records etc.  I wonder how the other mother (who fed the baby) thinks about this.  I find that she is being portrayed negatively in the article.   



  • BH-I was referring to the comments posted on the acual Washington Post article.  Thank goodness the DC boards are tame!
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