According to an ABC News report, the switched-at-birth incident happened on Wednesday at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. Tammy van Dyke’s baby boy, Cody, was placed in the wrong bassinet and switched with another newborn. Complicating matters, Cody was given to the wrong mother for breast-feeding that day. Now, newborn Cody must undergo a year of testing to be cleared of HIV and hepatitis.
The mix-up at the hospital happened less than two days after Cody’s birth and just a few hours before Ms. van Dyke was set to take her son home. The mother told reporters that the whole incident is “like a bad dream … and (she) couldn’t get it to stop.”
Immediate blood tests taken on the newborn returned negative results for both HIV and hepatitis. Blood had to be drawn from the newborn to test for these life-threatening diseases and young Cody must endure the same tests every three months for a year until he can be cleared. Hospital administration passed off the testing as routine and that it did not indicate any sort of health problems with the mother who had accidentally received Cody. Privacy laws prevented the hospital from discussing the health condition of the other mother inadvertently involved in the baby switch.
The other mother and van Dyke spoke at the hospital about the incident and it took 20 minutes for the hospital to locate one of her two newborn twins, Liam.
ABC News acquired a copy of the apology letter Abbott Northwestern sent to van Dyke explaining the incident. It reads: “Please accept this letter with our sincerest apologies for what occurred today at the hospital, that in the nursery your newborn son was placed in the wrong bassinette and then was taken to the wrong mother and breastfed. The hospital agrees to pay for the additional testing that you had done today and will also pay for the tests recommended for your son related to this incident up to one year.”
The Chief Clinical Officer and obstetrician at Abbott Northwestern told ABC News that the hospital’s policy of checking name bands to ensure the right baby and mothers are matched at all times broke down in this one instance.