15 Safety Measures to Avoid Theft or Swapping of Infants in Hospitals

3. Inform the pediatrician in-charge case

4. The security officials should immediately have all the exit routes closed except one and start an active search of all persons going out of hospital

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5. The Security Department will notify the Medical Superintendent/Director of the hospital and the local police officials on phone (for immediate action) as well as in writing

6. Knowing that a small infant can be easily hidden, the clothes, containers, trash cans, cupboards/janitors closets or the bags carried by public should be searched

7. Inform the staff members in the area and the families of patients in the ward that a police investigation is underway and they may be questioned by the police officials about the abduction of the infant

8. The nurse will secure the infant’s medical records and initiate appropriate measures to obtain the photograph of the missing infant (if available) and also check for the cord blood sample (if available) of the infant

9. The security and other staff will check from all the public/staff about any suspicious person or activity they might have observed specifically those involving newborns or persons carrying items large enough to conceal an infant

10. A quick effort will be made by the security and the police to identify the culprit and the modus operandi by checking the CCTV recordings of the area

11. Security staff will send the staff along with one of the relatives who can identify the infant to the area outside the hospital up to the nearest bus/taxi stand

12. Administration should make a counselor available to provide crisis counseling and a staff member to stay with and support the family members of the missing infant. The family will be kept informed and updated on the search status through this staff member

13. The search will continue until the infant is recovered or the search is called off by the police officials

14. In case the infant was admitted in the hospital and is not immediately found, formal discharge documentation should be completed

15. In-house investigations should be carried out under the orders of the MS to ascertain the circumstances and causes of the sentinel event and the corrective measures required to be instituted to prevent recurrence.