Baby swapping preventive measures in Singapore

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In wake of the shocking and recent case of newborn baby swapping that happened inSingapore, parents are wondering what measures are in place to prevent such an accident from happening again. Read up on Radio Frequency Identification and how it works.

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What can be done to prevent further accidents like this?

There are baby swapping cases left, right and centre – in Russia, in the neighbouring country, India, and appallingly even at home, in Singapore.  On the 19th November 2012, it was reported that 2 sets of parents had gone home with the wrong baby. Both babies were born in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. A statement was released the same day where KKH apologized for the swap.

This case is sure to have opened the eyes of parents and the necessary authorities.

Are you sure your baby is own?

Now, how do you know that you took home the correct child? As a mother after carrying your baby for 9 months and an intense labour, and as a father worrying about the child and mother, how can you be sure the little bundle of joy is genuinely your flesh and blood?

Additional security measure

Mount Elizabeth Hospital has in place effective measures that could prevent such incidents from occurring  These include, getting the mother to read out the babies’ tags and RFID. Already in place in the States, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) works on the simple principle of radio frequency. Not all hospitals in Singapore have this measure, but at least one other hospital is considering this step.

How does the RIFD work?

Mount Elizabeth Hospital’s chief executive officer, Dr Kelvin Loh, said: “Only if the baby goes off with the correct mother, the tag will give off a pleasant chime. If the baby goes to the wrong mother, it will actually sound off an alarm so that will be an additional mechanism that will help to match the baby to the right mother.”

Some reactions in cyberspace

Here are some comments from our readers at TheAsianParent on the whole situation.

Xin Yuan Wong : I (have worked) in hospital before and I know that it is a very stressful environment to work in. Making mistakes are never pleasant but let’s not forget that we are human and there are times when we are not vigilant enough to spot the error. Let’s forgive and move on. And yes, newborn look alike!

Kelyn Loh : No mummies wanted this to happen, and I guess KKH has some to do some serious reflections. Actions for a more stringent SOP… all humans err… n we don’t deny the nursing or medical professional field has always been striving for our ppl. Let’s be more embracing n it’s great blessing that the parents were vigilant.

Di Bustamante : Another good reason to keep your baby with you – besides the obvious bonding benefits – do not let it out of your sight!

Jo Teo :They take them away for check ups and stuff though… :/

Di Bustamante :  They don’t have to – they can do all those checks in your room with your baby in your arms!!

Conscious Parenting : you just have to insist on it! It is your baby you know!

Brenda Lee : Too think I was planning to have my future second pregnancy to be handled at KKH and this news broke out… Thank goodness for the parents who make this news to the public, it has definitely changed my husband and myself decisions…

Ahmad Hidayat Mohamad :  […] When a baby is born most of the babies look alike and the parents are to happy when the saw their newborn hence they may not realised after a certain period. Both parents may have to stay awake for at least 10 – 18 hours just to deliver the child.  When humans are angry, they won’t think rationally and end up quarreling. Find a solution to the problem not to create another problem on top of another. Hospitals should be allow the nurses to rest more as it’s not easy to care for a person’s baby every few minutes. Not 1 but at least 20 babies that need intensive care from them while the parents are recovering from exhaustion. Blaming them definitely improper, who can help you to deliver the babies if there were no Doctors or Nurses around? We should appreciate them instead of criticising.

Results to a poll that we recently conducted:

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For related articles on your baby, see:

Good sleep habits for your newborn

What happens to your baby after delivery?

First week with your newborn