Monday, 30 May 2011

Switched at birth

I was browsing through random pages on the internet today, when I suddenly stumbled upon this little nugget of information:

12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily.

Not annually, not monthly, but DAILY! How is this possible?! I did some more research and found this on several sites:

It is has been reported by different studies that 100,000 to 500,000 newborns are accidentally switched at birth every year -- and given to wrong parents! According to the 1998 Edition of the Tanderberg Report, (an annual medical study by sociologist Dr. Morton Tanderberg, and as reported by Ann Victoria in Weekly World News, p. 22, on 9-8-98), 500,000 or 1 out of every 8 babies born in American hospitals is sent home with the wrong parents. In many cases, these oversights are caught and corrected within a few days and the babies are returned to their mothers. But on the other end of the scale, Dr. Tanderberg says that in some overcrowded facilities, particularly in large metropolitan areas like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, the number of switched babies could be considerably higher -- possibly as high as 3 out of 8.

This information is almost enough to make me want to have a home birth, which I DON'T want, but of course I might change my mind if I actually get pregnant... Anyway. Or maybe if I ever get pregnant I'll move to a small place, with a small hospital, so that the chance of a mix-up is smaller?

"In many cases, these oversights are caught and corrected within a few days and the babies are returned to their mothers.

I wonder how that must feel, of course I hope never to find out. What does the hospitals tell the parents? How do you give up a child that you have thought was yours, no matter how long you've had him/her? It must be awful for the hospital employee to give the news, and 1000 times worse for the parent.

I wonder if there's ever been a hospital employee that has found out that there's been a mix up, but has been too ashamed to tell anyone? Maybe that's one of the reasons some children doesn't get "sorted out" after just a couple of days?

This is probably why the tv soap operas and talk shows never run out of "switched at birth" stories.

Approximately 490.000 babies are born worldwide every day...

I guess when you look at it like that, 12 isn't really a big number... But there shouldn't really be any at all, should there?!

1 comment:

Leslie said...

When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter ( now 20) I used to worry about the hospital nursery getting my baby mixed up with another. Luckily for us, the only other baby born that day was a little brown boy named Abraham ~ Not a chance of a mix up!! lol.


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