Baby put at risk for disease in breastfeeding mix-up

On behalf of Mike Clancy

A mother is going to worry about her child; it is essentially a part of the job description. From the moment that the child is born, the mother is going to worry about what harm could come to her child, whether physical, emotional or other. Hospital negligence should never contribute to this worry, and yet it does in labor rooms in Chicago and across the country.

Newborns are at a particular risk for injury. A newborn baby isn’t ready to defend itself from bacteria, viruses or infection with the fragile immune system that they are born with. This is why mixing up a newborn for breastfeeding can cause more permanent harm than just shocking the mother.

A recent case was reported in which a Houston nurse brought the wrong baby to a new mother. When the mother looked at the child, she knew it wasn’t hers. By the time her child was tracked down, her daughter had already been breastfed by a different woman.

Tests were immediately taken to determine if the child had contracted any diseases as a result of the mix-up. Thus far, the tests have come back negative. After an internal investigation conducted by the hospital, the nurse responsible for the confusion was terminated from her employment.

What if the other woman had an illness, like a sexually transmitted disease? These types of viruses can be passed through breastfeeding, as was the concern in a case that arose in Minneapolis in 2012. For an entire year, doctors tested the child for HIV and hepatitis that could have been transferred from the other woman.

Parents that are concerned that their child may have suffered a birth injury due to the negligence of a doctor or hospital staff member can discuss their situation with a medical malpractice attorney to determine if they have a claim.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Parents Horrified After Hospital Mixup Allows Their Baby To Be Breastfed By Stranger,” Jan. 11, 2014

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Baby put at risk for disease in breastfeeding mix-up