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Baby discharged with wrong mother from Baragwanath Hospital

A woman was mistakenly discharged with the wrong baby. Stock photo.
A woman was mistakenly discharged with the wrong baby. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Kati Finnell

A baby who went home with the wrong family from Soweto's Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital has been reunited with his biological mother after an intervention sparked by a security officer.

Gauteng health and wellness MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, who commended the officer, said a 35-year-old mother, who had given birth to a baby boy the previous day, was discharged with a newborn. However, the security officer noticed the baby had a name tag which did not match that of the mother. 

He alerted the nursing staff and an investigation was undertaken.

“The mother and the baby were fetched from their home within a few hours on the same day,” Nkomo-Ralehoko said.

Health checks were conducted on the baby before he was reunited with his 31-year-old biological mother, who is still in hospital.

Both families are receiving trauma counselling to help them deal with the ordeal.

“The families have agreed to conduct DNA and related tests to put the matter to rest.”

Nkomo-Ralehoko said “the department will take corrective action for this negligence”.

“The team on duty did not follow standard procedure in place in the hospital when discharging the mother and the baby.

“We thank the security officer for his alertness as this situation could have turned out much worse. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to both families.”


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