Baby Switched, Breastfed by Wrong Mom at Mpls Hospital

Updated: 12/06/2012 8:54 PM By: Leslie Dyste

An Apple Valley woman who gave birth to a baby boy, learned he was switched in the hospital nursery and breastfed by another woman. 

The baby's aunt tells KSTP the baby boy, Cody, was taken to the wrong mother, who proceeded to breastfeed him at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

The baby's mother, Cody, and the other mother had to undergo blood testing for HIV and hepatitis.

The baby's aunt says the other mother had to wait 20 minutes before her baby, Liam, was located.

A letter from Abbott Northwestern Hospital states the babies were put in the wrong bassinets, and Cody was breastfed by the wrong mother.

The letter states, "The hospital agrees to pay for the additional testing that you had done today and will pay for tests recommended for your son related to this incident up to one year. We would also be open to any reasonable requests to cover the cost of additional testing if that should arise."

Abbott is currently investigating this incident.

The hospital released the following statement:

"Yesterday morning at Abbott Northwestern Hospital an infant was taken from the newborn nursery to the wrong room and was briefly breastfed by a woman who is not this infant’s mother. While hospital procedures require staff to match codes on the infant’s and mother’s identification bands in order to prevent incidents like this, it appears these procedures were not followed in this case."

The following statement is from Penny Wheeler, MD, a practicing obstetrician and Chief Clinical Officer of Allina Health, which owns Abbott Northwestern:

“On behalf of Abbott Northwestern, I am very sorry this incident occurred. Providing the best possible patient experience and care quality is our foremost concern and this incident should not have occurred.

As an obstetrician, I have personally seen verification of the infant’s identifying name band matched correctly with the mother’s on hundreds of occasions.

It is extremely unfortunate that was not the case this time. We sincerely apologize to the involved families and will make certain we understand why our procedures were not appropriately followed in this case.”

Letter from Abbott Northwestern Hospital