Updated: 11/27/2012 22:39

DNA tests confirm babies reunited with biological parents; KKH tightens processes



DNA tests confirm babies reunited with biological parents; KKH tightens processes

DNA tests have confirmed that the two babies who were given to the wrong parents in a mix-up by KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) were reunited with their biological parents. 

KKH said on Tuesday  that it received the results on 23 November from the Health Science Authorities (HSA). 

The babies were reunited with their biological parents hours after the mix-up happened on 18 November. 

Turning to the investigations into the mix-up, KKH said early findings confirmed that the problem stemmed from an incorrect replacement tag and failure to verify the identification tags when the babies were being discharged. 

KKH said it takes an extremely serious view of the incident and has put in place more measures to tighten the identification process and ensure that staff follow the guidelines. 

Parents will be more involved in verifying the baby at birth and in the ward nursery. 

After staff have thoroughly checked the mother's identity and tags, mothers will read back and confirm the particulars on the tags - after birth and at the time of discharge. 

The father or mother will also be involved in affixing the first identification tag, and in verifying the second identification tag at the ward nursery.

KKH has also tweaked the way identification tags are affixed to ensure that they don't fall off. 

The tags will be affixed closest to the narrowest section of the baby's ankle, allowing just a finger-tip's space. 

Two nurses will verify the identification tag in the ward and at the time of discharge. 

They'll also verify both the ankle tags with the particulars on the cot each time the baby is carried out and placed back in the cot, such as for feeding and bathing. 

Measures have also been tightened in the replacement of identification tags. 

Mothers will be informed about the replacement. 

Two nurses will verify the reprinted tag before it is affixed to the baby 

KKH is also stepping up monitoring and auditing to ensure compliance.

"Following this unfortunate incident, we have strengthened and added to our processes and protocols and reinforced with all staff the need to be vigilant and strictly adhere to these processes and protocols for the care of our patients at all times," said Ms Tan Soh Chin, Director of Nursing, KKH.

The hospital will continue to review all processes to enhance and tighten the identification process.

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