Doctors perform surgery on a newborn that was meant for another

Doctors perform surgery on a newborn that was meant for another

Frenulectomy is a procedure that involves cutting a flap of skin from under the child's tongue, a treatment for infants born with a condition that restricts the tongue's range of motion

After hours of gruelling labour, the euphoria Jennifer Melton felt successfully giving birth to her healthy baby boy did not last long. It was quickly replaced with shock and horror when she found out that, without her permission, the doctors performed a surgical procedure on her newborn that was meant for another.

Jennifer had just delivered baby Nate when the doctors took him away for what Jennifer thought was a routine physical. Hours later, the nurse brought her baby back.

“At that point the nurse started to mention the procedure they had done that they had clipped his tongue,” said Jennifer.

Somehow without Jennifer and her partner’s consent, a doctor performed a surgical procedure on Nate that apparently was meant for another child.

“Essentially they took our child who was healthy from the room and cut his mouth. At that point I began to cry hysterically.”

According to reports the doctor performed a frenulectomy, a procedure that involves cutting a flap of skin from under the child's tongue. It is a treatment for infants born with a condition that restricts the tongue's range of motion.

Baby Nate's tongue, however, was perfectly normal.

“It's recklessness,” said Clint Kelley, the Melton’s attorney. “There's no excuse for cutting on a healthy child. There's no excuse for mixing up babies at a hospital.”

The doctor who operated on baby Nate did not make excuses for his mistake.

In a progress report he had given the hospital, he said that he "had asked for the wrong infant. I had likely performed the procedure on an infant different than the one I intended to…and I admitted my mistake and apologised.”

“We don't know if the child will have speech problems or eating problems,” Clint Kelley added. “The concern here is this was a healthy baby that was supposed to leave the hospital, but instead was harmed by the hospital.”

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Written by

Nasreen Majid

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