Woman Sues NJ Hospital for Baby Mix-Up

A new parent’s life is not an easy one. Learning to take care of a newborn while recovering from labor is challenging enough. For some mothers, however, the added stress of realizing that the baby they are caring for may not be theirs is overwhelming.

A Baby Mix-Up

For a family in Ridgewood, the nightmare of a baby mix-up was a reality. Due to nursing staff failing to double-check the identification bracelets on the baby, the wrong baby was brought to the mother for an early-morning feeding. The mother then fed the child who was not hers the rich nutrient-filled colostrum. The family sued because their own infant daughter had been deprived of this essential one-time feeding.

In a similar story back in 2006, in a Passaic hospital, two mothers were given the wrong babies to feed. In that instance, however, one astute mom noticed the bracelets on the infant’s ankle did not match her own. The crisis was averted in advance.

Does a Switched Baby Constitute Medical Malpractice?

Arguably, under these circumstances where medical professionals failed to correctly identify and return an infant child to her parents, a claim for medical malpractice could be brought (and has been.) This is because:

  1. There was a breach in the standard of care. The breach here was a missed identification tag.
  2. That breach resulted in a harm. The harm here was that the baby missed the opportunity to receive the health benefits of her mother’s colostrum.

For a medical malpractice action, it is essential that parents bring their claim immediately. New Jersey has a two-year statute of limitations on these types of cases. Contact Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari for more information at (973) 635-5400.

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