Johannesburg – An alert security officer at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital (CHBAH), who averted an erroneous baby swap when he noticed the name tag did not match that of the discharged mother, has earned high praise.
Gauteng Health and Wellness MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko has commended the security officer at CHBAH “for his alertness which led to a baby that was incorrectly released to a family being reunited with its biological mother”.
The near calamity was averted on Tuesday, (18 April 2023), when a 35-year-old mother, who had given birth to a baby boy the previous day was mistakenly discharged with the wrong baby.
“A security official noticed that the baby boy had a name tag, which did not match that of the mother and immediately alerted the nursing staff,” said MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko.
“The team on duty did not follow standard operating procedure in place within the hospital when discharging the mother and the baby.
“‘When the matter was further looked into, it was confirmed that the mother was discharged with the wrong baby.
“The mother and the baby were fetched from their home within a couple of hours on the same day, back to the hospital where the matter was resolved.”
Nkomo-Ralehoko said health checks were conducted on the baby prior to him being reunited with his biological mother.
“The second patient who is still admitted at the hospital is a 31-year-old mother whose child was mistakenly released to a wrong family,” said MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko
“She was alerted of this and later reunited with her child.
“Both families are receiving trauma counselling to help them deal with the ordeal.”
MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko said the families have further agreed to conduct DNA and related tests to put the matter to rest once and for all.
“We thank the security officer for his alertness as this situation could have turned out much worse,” said MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko.
“We apologise for the inconvenience caused to both families. The Department will take corrective action for this kind of negligence.”