KKH: Babies with right parents

PHOTO: KKH: Babies with right parents

SINGAPORE - The KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) has confirmed that the two babies who were given to the wrong parents in last week's mix-up have been reunited with their biological parents.

The confirmation came last Friday when DNA results were received from the Health Sciences Authority, said KKH in a statement yesterday.

KKH said: "The hospital has been in close contact with both families to inform them of these results."

On Nov 18, two sets of parents were given the wrong newborn babies to take home from hospital. The accidental switch was discovered only when one of the couples later checked their infant's ankle tags.

Both babies were reunited with their parents hours after the reported incident, but the distraught parents asked for DNA tests for assurance.

The hospital said that preliminary investigations showed that the incident was caused by a baby's missing tag being replaced incorrectly. There was also a failure in checking the ankle tags of both babies at the time of discharge.

KKH said: "A thorough investigation is under way to confirm these findings, and appropriate disciplinary actions will follow."

The hospital said it has rolled out additional measures to "enhance the identification process and to tighten compliance".

They include getting mothers to check and confirm the particulars on their child's tags after birth and at the time of discharge, and getting either parent to fasten the first tag and verify the second one at the nursery ward.

Identification tags have also been improved to prevent them from falling off.

KKH has also assigned two nurses to check tags within the ward and at the time of discharge. They are required to check both ankle tags with the particulars on the cot each time a baby is removed and returned to the cot.

"We are committed to the continuous improvement of our processes and protocols, and are fully cognizant of the importance of uncompromising adherence to them," said its chief executive, Professor Kenneth Kwek.

joyfang@sph.com.sg


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