Last week in Cape Town, South Africa, the Magistrate's Court handed down an indictment for an infant abduction that took place in the Groote Schuur Hospital in 1997. The woman who is charged with kidnapping the two day old infant after convincing the young mother to take a nap while she watched her newborn daughter. The indictment states that she "entered the maternity ward of Groote Schuur Hospital, where Celeste Nurse was convalescing after the birth of her daughter. She befriended her and convinced her to hand her daughter to her so that she could sleep." Eighteen years later, the crime was solved when a younger daughter of the couple who experienced this tragedy entered the same high school as the abducted girl. Their striking resemblance led to truth of their origin.
Parents of newborns at Colquitt Regional Medical Center in Moultrie, Georgia are feeling an added measure of comfort as the Medical Center is the latest facility to install the Cuddles infant protection system exclusively from Accutech Security.
It can be a care facility’s worst nightmare. An Alzheimer’s patient has managed to elude care providers and walked away from the site. Or someone not authorized to have the child has taken an infant from a maternity ward. This can be a devastating experience for healthcare workers and even more so for the patient or child’s family as they frantically wonder and speculate about their loved one's location. Hospitals and long term care facilities are required to have wander management and child abduction prevention systems that trigger alerts when a resident, newborn or toddler gets too close to an exit or restricted area. Since then, the number of incidents resulting in injury, death or loss has been greatly reduced.
A recent abduction at Duke Hospital demonstrates the reality of infant abductions. “On April 20, 2010 an infant was taken from the nursery. The hospital credits a diligent, highly-trained staff and the use of an infant security system to prevent the abductor from leaving the facility.
Having a baby is a whirlwind of preparation, excitement and anticipation. You’ve prepared the nursery, bought some really tiny clothes and perhaps had a baby shower or two. And as the day gets closer you’ll begin to think about the actual birth. Your healthcare plan will probably dictate where the baby will be delivered but you can still “interview” your hospital and get detailed information about policies and procedures. Knowing how things work and what you can expect during your stay will help with the nervous feelings any expectant parent will experience.