Mother of baby swapped in Tambo Memorial awaits DNA results

07 August 2020 - 11:16 By Kgaugelo Masweneng
A mother who gave birth to a daughter realised the hospital had given her the wrong baby only when she changed the newborn's nappy and discovered it was a boy. When she told the hospital, 'the nurses were not shocked and nonchalantly said it was a mistake', the mother said.
A mother who gave birth to a daughter realised the hospital had given her the wrong baby only when she changed the newborn's nappy and discovered it was a boy. When she told the hospital, 'the nurses were not shocked and nonchalantly said it was a mistake', the mother said.
Image: 123RF/sam74100

A Gauteng woman is awaiting DNA results after the Tambo Memorial Hospital in Boksburg swapped her baby with another newborn.

Malesedi* gave birth to a girl but upon discharge, she left the hospital with a  boy.

The Gauteng health department said it will institute disciplinary proceedings against staff involved in the swapping of the babies.

The mother called Radio 702 to report that she was discharged first and her baby remained in hospital with a medical complication. She said she could not see her child.

“I called every day to check up on my baby. Last Thursday I was told my baby was fine and ready to be discharged.

"I got to the hospital and after the admin I was told to dress the baby and we left. On my way home I was called [by the hospital] and asked to check if the baby had a drip on its left leg. I was told to return to the hospital, where they removed it and we were on our way again.

“That night [when she changed a nappy] I discovered the baby was a boy. I was shocked. The baby's father and I went to the hospital the following morning. The nurses were not shocked and nonchalantly said it was a mistake.

” 

“The mother of the child I took was also at the hospital. She was so shocked that she couldn’t even talk,” she said.

This week marks two weeks since the mother was separated from her newborn as her baby was kept at the hospital pending the outcome of DNA results.

The provincial health department said it finds the incident "regrettable".

“The hospital concedes the identification of the babies and procedure for discharge were not properly followed. The two babies, a boy and girl, were born on July 24 2020. The baby girl’s mother realised around 9pm, when she changed the baby’s napkin, that it was not her baby as she delivered a girl and she instead had a boy.

“The hospital reached out to both families to resolve the matter. Both mothers were interviewed by the sister in charge and head of department, and they were counselled.

"The matter was immediately referred to a social worker to facilitate DNA testing of the babies at the request of one of the fathers. The DNA test took place on August 4 2020,” said Kwara Kekana, spokesperson for the Gauteng health MEC.

* Full name withheld to protect the identity of the minors.

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