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Hospital Sued After Babies Switched

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Hospital Sued After Babies Switched - AOL News

Hospital Sued After Babies Switched

By CARYN ROUSSEAU,AP

Posted: 2008-04-14 10:00:53

CHICAGO (April 11) - Sitting in her hospital room in Marion, Ill., 17-year-old Kassie Hopkins knew something was wrong when she looked at the newborn officials told her she had given birth to a day before.

 

Mary Jo Bathon had the same feeling but left Heartland Regional Medical Center with the hospital's assurance that the baby she had was her son. She headed home to Pinckeyville, an hour away, making a stop to buy baby supplies.

 

But in fact, hospital workers had inadvertently switched the babies.

 

They sent Bathon home with Hopkins' son, leaving 17-year-old Hopkins in her hospital room, worried about her son's whereabouts, attorney John Womick said Friday after suing on the women's behalf in Williamson County Court.

 

"Kassie, she's having trouble communicating how she feels," Womick said Friday. "All she can do pretty much is cry. She's now paranoid. She's very concerned about something happening to her baby."

 

The hospital realized the mix-up and called Bathon at home the same day, March 28, and left a message on her answering machine asking her to return to Marion to retrieve her real son, Womick said.

 

Womick said he wants the court to require the hospital to investigate what led to the switch and take steps to make sure it does not happen again. The lawsuits seek monetary damages of more than $50,000 for each woman and a jury trial.

 

The lawsuits name Heartland Regional Medical Center and its parent company, Community Health Systems Inc., of Franklin, Tenn., as defendants.

 

"We genuinely regret the circumstances surrounding the discharge of these infants," hospital spokeswoman Staci Bynum said Friday. "Fortunately, the situation was quickly identified and corrected within hours, with both healthy babies being joined with their families."

 

The switch apparently occurred when Bathon's son, Hunter Allen Bathon, and Hopkins' son, Riley Howard Spencer, were taken at the same time to be circumcised. Both wore identification, Womick said, but "apparently both came off and they put the wrong ones back on."

 

The hospital claims it conducted DNA testing to identify the boys, Womick said.

 

Womick said the lawsuits could protect future mothers in the region.

 

"If you're a mom and you've got to go in next week and you're going to be scared to death," Womick said. "They need to publish publicly what happened and then publish publicly what they're going to do."

 

 

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

2008-04-14 10:00:53

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OMG that is horrifying!!!! Thank god they got the kids back to their right mommies!

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omg seriously?

 

We go through SO MUCH to make sure babies are appropriately identified. We have to put bands on one wrist and one ankle, and if one comes off it has to be put back on and tightened, and if it can't be tightened the entire set of bands (mom, dad, and baby x2) gets replaced. Any time a baby leaves it's mom we compare bands (to make sure there are two bands before we take the baby) and when we bring the baby back we compare bands. Sometimes I think what we go through is overkill, but obviously not...

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I watch way too many lifetime movies, so I admit, the thought of this happening crossed my mind. I told Brian he better remember distinctive stuff about the baby before they took him away (from me to get cleaned in the nursery).

 

But like Sarah said my hospital was craz with identification. Aiden had the wrist and ankle band. I had a band, brian had a band. everytime aiden came and left me the nurses would check the bands against each other. when aiden's ankle band came off the nurse came back with TWO ankle bands and put them both on him! Initially I was a little like "Jeez, this is annoying, I just want to hold him and they are taking all this time to read the f'ing numbers off the bands" but in the end a small sacrafice for make for peace of mind.

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I live in a tiny community with a really small community hospital (one OBGYN in the whole town and there is only 3 floors at the hospital) and when I gave birth to my daughter it was like going through national security just to hold her. I guess that is a good thing..lol They did have these tiny little ankle braclets that were supposed to stay on her leg and if anyone left the OB area with her the braclet would beep like a loud car alarm. My daughter was very small (6lbs even), they actually almost transfered her to a larger hospital cause she was having trouble maintaining her body tempture:-( but the braclet would not stay on her foot! I was never really concerned about an abduction but it obviously could have happened! Mistakes happen all the time and it sooo scarry that that happened to those 2 baby boys!

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wow that's so scary and almost unvelievable that a mistake like this could happen. do they really circumsize 2 babies at the exact same time, that close to each other on a table or crib-thingy that even if both bracelets came off this could happen?? that's just crazy!!

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