It’s a parent’s worst fear. A newborn baby is in the hospital and someone dressed as a nurse or hospital worker enters the mother’s room and abducts her newborn infant.
Infant abduction is essentially the kidnapping of a baby by a non-family member and it’s the stuff of nightmares for a parent or family. A number of babies have been abducted from hospitals across Canada over the years by people pretending to be nurses or posing as staff, when babies are left unattended, or if the mother is distracted or asleep.
It’s one of those scenarios that a parent, family member or healthcare professional never wants to experience first-hand.
A security problem for hospitals
The odds of a newborn getting abducted from a birthing facility are about one in a million in the United States and they rarely happen in Canada… but they can and do happen.
Since 1983 when the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the U.S. started collecting information on reports of infant abduction, there have been a total of 235 recorded infant kidnappings by non-family members. Of the 235 reported cases, 50 percent have occurred in the hospital setting, which is of particular concern for a facility tasked with providing a safe, secure setting for an infant.
The evidence also shows that 57 percent of children taken from the hospital are snatched from their mother’s room, while approximately 15 percent each are taken from the newborn nursery, other pediatric wards, or from other parts of the hospital grounds.
The impact on families, communities and facilities
If a baby is found missing and an abduction is suspected, then a facility will often activate a rapid response plan with immediate actions taken to secure the facility and search for the infant, involving the police where appropriate.
However, an infant abduction not only plays on the fears of expectant parents and communities, but it can also have a catastrophic effect on the facility from a reputational and image perspective. For NICUs, delivery departments, maternity units and nurseries, the risks can add up with incidents leading to costly litigation, risks to health and reputational damage for a facility.
Facilities do have established procedures and policies in place, using multi-layered approaches focused on preventing infant abductions at all times. Yet it’s critical that this framework for providing safe, sound and secure care for your tiniest patients is backed by a trusted, effective real-time tracking and security solution to safeguard against abduction, wandering and elopement across healthcare facilities.
Real-Time Infant & Pediatric Security & Visibility
Highly accurate and easily expandable, GuardRFID’s TotGuard Infant & Pediatric Security is an incredible real-time infant protection solution, backed by a wide selection of tags designed to meet all needs at your healthcare facility.
Providing visibility and monitoring of multiple locations in real-time from a centrally-located server, the system is backed by a feature-rich, simple-to-use application available on desktops, tablets, and mobile phones. It can also be integrated with existing systems in your facility with ease and is designed to be immune to wireless interference with no impact from, or on, Wi-Fi networks.
With four different infant tags and our innovative Mother-Baby matching tag, we have produced a range of small, light and comfortable tags to suit your patients, from the NICU to pediatrics.
To discover how our unique TotGuard solution can match your healthcare needs, go to https://www.guardrfid.com/healthcare-rtls/infant-security/.