a mom and OB nurse's perspective...I am a lurker here but as a mom of an intact 28 mo old and an OB nurse who has seen many many circs I had to chime in.
Unfortuneately as a nurse who has worked in extremely busy city hospitals on OBS floors I can see how this happened. I live in a small city outlying Winnipeg and while I don't work at this hospital, I have spoken to nurses who do and it has gotten extremely busy. One hospital in the city has stopped offering OBS services, so for a city of 600,000+ people plus rural areas there are only TWO hospitals that offer maternity care. Cutbacks plus busy-ness equals medical errors...it has been proven with medication errors and otherwise that the "system" the error happens in is a major contributing factor to the chain of errors, which ends in the individual making the mistake. And to the poster that said that they weren't glad that those things don't happen here think again...maybe not things as dramatic as the wrong surgery, but things like assessments of your patients not being done as often as standard or meds given to late or omitted for a dose, or a dressing change not done because of some other crisis for a more acute patient, etc. In the days I worked L&D in a city hospital I remember 10-12 babies born in a span of 12-18 hours some days and it was so busy my head was spinning and it was all you could do to keep who was in what room and dialated what # of cm's straight.
Regarding this actual error...On a postpartum ward with 30 plus patients, admissions coming in constantly, people needing help to breastfeed or something for pain...it can be nuts. Still, it could have been something like 2 patients in the same room, or more than one circ done that day, etc. My guess is the parents were told that they would be back with the baby and weren't told what it was for, or maybe they were told it was a circ and they thought this was done with everyone and didn't need to give consent in writing, and most definitely the baby's nameband and a written consent was not checked before starting, even though I imagine the consent was obtained for the right baby, just the wrong baby was done when the time came and the paper work was not double checked. Actually the hospital I work in now does very few deliveries...only 20-30 per month, and this week we had 2 babies the same sex with the same last name...scary!
Before someone flames me understand that I am not saying this is right, and most definitely an error was made, as one who works in the medical system I am trying to shed light as to how it could happen....but it still makes this a horrible situation.
Regarding letting your babies out of your sight... As a mom you have every right to insist your babies stay with you! Our scale is not portable so I weigh my babies in the nursery but I always welcome a dad or visitor to come if mom is not able to get up. I found it hard to believe the person who said the babies were taken out for 2h at shift change...but it is probably for the convienience of the hospital, because they are so busy and have so many babies to assess it is easier to have them in one location and do it all at once, as you never know what hell will break loose on your shift. That being said, babies can also be checked on mom's tummy in the delivery room, or in the bassinette or bed in mom's room.
Good for you who all insist your babies stay with you! Don't let the nurses intimidate you...you have every right!
Going off to read more of this discussion...Tina, here in Manitoba, Canada with dh James and dd Stephanie (5 1/2) and INTACT ds Jonathan (2 yrs)