Newborn Boy Mislabeled a Girl at Hospital Reminds Moms to Keep Tabs on Their Babies

OMG 16

newborn feetEven though hospitals usually have things under control when it comes to keeping track of newborn babies, once in a while there's a slip-up, well -- because everyone makes mistakes.

Just last week we heard about the mom who breastfed the wrong baby, and today, there's a new report out of Jacksonville, Florida detailing how a mom realized her newborn boy had been mislabeled a girl -- and had even been listed with the name of the wrong mother.

(What the heck is going on with these hospitals?)

Karen Butler was, of course, shocked when she realized the mistake involving her baby boy, Kendrick.

She said, "Anything could have happened. What if they gave him the wrong shot, or if they gave him the wrong medicine, anything."

Luckily any sort of crisis was averted thanks to the fact that Karen was paying close attention to details, which is something all new moms should do while they're in recovery in the maternity ward.

I can remember being a little bit paranoid about my son accidentally being switched with another baby, so I always studied him up and down when the nurses brought him to me just to make sure he was mine, all mine. (Geez. I probably should've lightened up a tad.)

But when you're completely exhausted, and it's dark in the room because you're desperately trying to get a few minutes of sleep before they come and take your vitals for the umpteenth time, I guess it's possible that you could overlook a detail like a mislabeling.

There are, however, a few little tricks you can use to make sure something like this doesn't happen to you and give you the fright of your life.

Keep your baby in the room -- If your newborn never leaves your side, there's really no chance of an incident occurring while he's being moved back and forth from the nursery.

Bring a unique little hat -- All babies are given the same tiny striped hat after they're born, and it must be kind of hard to tell them apart from other newborns at first glance. Bringing your own hat with you to the hospital that has a specific color or design will help you keep tabs on your baby.

Check for birthmarks -- My son has a tiny birthmark on his toe, which made it really easy to identify him even with all of the other babies in the nursery.

Get to know the nurses and ask for ID -- If you aren't familiar with a certain nurse, don't be afraid to speak up and ask her to show ID before she takes your newborn back to the nursery.

Do these recent hospital mix-ups freak you out?


Image via timomcd/Flickr



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Flori... Floridamom96

If medical intervention is not necessary birthing at home or in a birth center eliminates these types of errors.

aout aout

It does freak me out.  I would say no to letting them take the baby to the nursery.

When I had my son, he never left my side while at the hospital.  I don't even think there was a nursery for him to be taken too.  Unless the babies need to be in the NICU, they stay with mom.

nonmember avatar Brianna

I was scheduled to deliver my third child in a small local hospital where you're often the ONLY maternity patient, but developed complications to last few weeks and they didn't want the liability. I was sent to a huge university hospital and after I had my baby, I casually asked the nurse how many other women were in the l&d dept that day. She said they were over capacity and had over 30 moms/babies! Yikes!!! Thankfully, I KNEE my baby- he looked spitting image of his big brother and sister- so I didn't ever worry about him being switched.

elle7777 elle7777

No. They've always stayed in my room and been easily identifiable to me.

Amanda Montgomery Allen

If you understood the way that patients and babies get registered at hospitals, it wouldn't be so surprising. At my hospital, baby is born, nurse gives baby's birth info (sex, time, wt, apgrs, mom's name and #, pedi) to ward clerk, who then sends it as a sort of text message to the registration staff, who then enter it into the computer system, with baby's account linked to mom's. So, for a baby to be labled the wrong sex or mother, the nurse could have told the CA wrong, the CA could have entered in the info wrong, the registration staff could have mistyped, etc. Very easy to get communication crossed, especially if it is busy or it's a high risk baby. It happens all the time, and is usually caught within a few hours. That doesn't mean that baby's medical chart says they are the wrong sex, or any of the care related stuff, just the wristband and other labeling things.

CaliG... CaliGirl925

My 1st baby had to be rushed to another hospital as soon as she was born, due to an unseen heart defect (SCARY!)- So, I didn't even get to hold her until she was a week old, b/c of her heart surgery : ( Needless to say, w/my second baby, he NEVER left my side in the hospital. I already missed out on all that bonding time the 1st round, I want missing a minute the 2nd time around. And, it was pretty easy! I always had a nurse or daddy if I needed help, I never felt too tired or exhausted. I loved every.single. moment.

Christy Robinson Spradling

I was mixed up with a Mexican baby after I was born. My mom kept telling the nurses she had the wrong baby, but they argued that she was wrong until a nurse that saw me after I was delivered spoke up and said that my mom's baby was pinkish with almost blonde hair, not olive-toned with black hair. I would so much rather have a home birth if my insurance would cover it.

Shana Congdon

Happen to a member in my family. Luckily my grandma knew her baby.

Blues... Blueshark77

I worry about it. I want my baby in my room with me. She will be getting an echocardiogram after she's born to determine if the small hole in her heart has closed up, but I want my partner to stay with her the whole time she's out of the room. I hope they can just bring the ultrasound unit into my room, but I don't know if that's possible. I have a lot of questions for the upcoming maternity tour!

nonmember avatar Nine

My babies are born macrosomic. When they weigh over 13 lbs it's pretty easy to know if they're yours or not. Pretty much the only good thing about it.

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