Italian hospital apologises for baby Mix-up
by FFE EU News Staff
A mother in the town of Galatina in Puglia, Italy got the surprise of her life last December when she found out the baby she carried home from the hospital was not hers.
A nappy change made the mother realise she had been given a baby boy instead of a girl. She immediately called the hospital and was soon reunited with her daughter, who had ended up with the other new mother. She and the father of the baby are now suing the ASL (local health agency) for €50,000 in compensation as she had been unable to produce milk since the mix-up.
The mix-up occurred at the Santa Caterina Novella di Lecce Hospital and was confirmed by ASL – Lecce director general Valdo Mellone. He said the hospital is still trying to find out the exact moment the error occurred. He added ‘We have apologised to the parents, and we are evaluating where we made the mistake so that we can fix it. We have not been able to pinpoint the precise moment when things went wrong.
‘There is always a possibility for error. A distraction, a brief moment of confusion is all it takes for what happened in Galentina to happen.’
Before being allowed to leave the hospital, the mother had breastfed the baby she thought was hers. But instead of returning the baby to the nursery, the father asked if they could go straight home as the mother had already been discharged. Mellone said ‘The final check at the nursery, which would have brought the mistake to light, was missed out.’
To his knowledge, he said that the babies were given the correct identification bearing their names. However, he added that ‘We are working out the proper steps to take to ensure that something like this does not happen again. We are extremely sorry.’