HERMITAGE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A couple says after delivering a healthy baby girl last month at a Tennessee hospital, their baby was accidentally swapped with another newborn.
“Even in the year 2021, these things can still happen,” father Thomas Gray said.
Gray says his wife’s delivery went seamlessly at TriStar Summit Medical Center in Hermitage. So on the second day, when a nurse brought a baby to their room from the nursery, they didn’t think twice.
“My wife saw this as an opportunity to take some cute pictures, and so she did. She actually took some pictures of this baby that was not ours,” Gray said.
A nurse quickly returned to the Gray family’s room to switch the babies back, swapping out the baby in his wife’s arms with theirs.
“Just a panicked look on her face, she was like just breathing heavily and just flustered. And she was like ‘Here’s your baby.’ And we’re like ‘Um, what?'” Gray said.
Gray said it was hard for him and his wife to process how they weren’t able to recognize the situation immediately.
“She’s less than 36 hours old and you’d like to think, ‘Yeah, I know for sure that’s my child.’ But you’ve seen her all of three times since she’s been born. So, it’s this huge fear and these insecurities creep in,” Gray said.
Gray asked for a supervisor but felt he was never given an adequate answer as to where his daughter was during the time the other newborn was in their room. Gray said apologies did not satisfy them or ease their stress that day.
“Without us speaking up, it would just have been like it never happened,” Gray said.
TriStar Summit told WKRN that due to HIPAA, it could not comment on the specifics but said in a statement:
“At TriStar Summit Medical Center, the health and well-being of our patients is our top priority. We have practices and safety measures in place to help protect our patients’ welfare and promote the best possible outcomes. We take seriously the trust that our patients place in our hospital and caregivers. We apologize when we fall short of our expectations and thoroughly review processes, including patient notification, staff training and education.”
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The Grays want to make expectant parents more aware. They recommend that parents double-check security measures as a newborn is moved around the delivery unit.