Hospital mix-up leads mom to breast-feed wrong baby

A Minnesota mom is livid at a local hospital for giving her newborn boy to another mother for breast-feeding.

Tammy, who did not disclose her last name, gave birth to baby boy Cody Monday at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, CBS Minnesota reports. Two days later a nurse mistakenly gave her child to a different mother who had given birth to twins.

Tammy, who had been asleep at the time, told the station that the other mom realized something was amiss and notified the nurse.

"Then she called the nurse and got my son from her, and then her son was missing for 20 minutes -- he was in my son's bassinet," she said.

While the mix-up may frustrate any parent, it also carries a major risk for the newborn. Serious infections including HIV and hepatitis B and C can be transmitted through breast milk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The American Academy of Pediatrics adds that certain illicit and prescription drugs can transmit through breast milk. The society says that amphetamine, cocaine and heroin can have negative effects on babies if passed along through breast milk and several prescriptions including lithium and phenobarbitol are also on the list.

Thankfully for Cody, the mother tested negative, according to Tammy.

"I'm just glad he's OK," Tammy said. "And that the mother tested OK."

Abbott acknowledged the mistake and said it was covering all costs for the baby's blood testing.

Dr. Penny Wheeler, chief clinical officer of Allina Health -- which owns Abbott Northwestern - apologized for the incident in a statement to CBS Minnesota, saying proper procedure was not followed. Typically the nurses match bracelets the mother and newborn are wearing to prevent a mix-up.

"As an obstetrician, I have personally seen verification of the infant's identifying name band matched correctly with the mother's on hundreds of occasions. It is extremely unfortunate that was not the case this time," said Wheeler. "We sincerely apologize to the involved families and will make certain we understand why our procedures were not appropriately followed in this case."

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