Stillborn Baby Accidentally Sent to Laundry Service

Posted at: 04/17/2013 5:46 PM
Updated at: 04/17/2013 6:22 PM
By: Brianna Long

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A stillborn baby was found in the laundry, and it all stems from a St. Paul Hospital's mistake.

The baby was found at a Red Wing laundry company. Police say an employee there shook out some sheets to wash them, and the baby fell out.

After that baby, a little boy, was stillborn, he was wrapped in linens and sent to the hospital morgue. However, those linens were mistaken for dirty laundry. As a result, they were sent to the Red Wing laundry service for cleaning.

"That's ridiculous. I think that's really horrible. I feel really bad for the family, and for everyone involved in that," said Red Wing resident Nicholas Abney.

People in the city of Red Wing are shocked by, what many are calling, a terrifying mistake.

"Yesterday we received a call from an anonymous citizen that there was a dead baby that was found in the linens of a local laundromat," said Captain Darold Glander, with the Red Wing Police Department. 

That baby was stillborn at Regions Hospital in St. Paul back on April 4th,  after just 22 weeks. When he was found at Crothall Laundry in Red Wing, he was still wearing a hospital ankle tag.

"I feel bad for the employees that were put in that position at the laundromat. That would be just an awful thing to endure, and to see," said Glander.

Hospital officials say it was a mistake.

"We're very troubled. We're deeply saddened and troubled that this happened, and want to make sure that it never happens again," said Chris Boese.

The hospital is reaching out to the family to notify them of that mistake, and apologize for the incident. But people in the area say, and apologize doesn't take back what happened.

"I would say it's a pretty big mistake. I would be very upset if that were my child," said Joy Childs, a Red Wing resident.

"That's a huge mistake, and I don't think that's acceptable at all," said Abney.

We've also learned that, while very rare, this has happened before. The Associated Press found accounts of a dozen similar incidents from 1996 through 2009 at hospitals across the U.S and Canada. Some of those cases led to legal action.