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An easy way to prevent dangerous newborn mixups

When hospital patients receive medication, monitoring or other treatment meant for someone else, the results can be harmful or even fatal for either patient – the one who received the treatment in error as well as the one who did not get the treatment that he or she needed.

Newborns can be particularly at risk of patient mix-ups due to the fact that they are unable to speak for themselves and because they are often more similar than adults in their appearance, making it harder for staff to differentiate between them at a glance. Furthermore, when medical errors do occur, newborns’ extreme physical vulnerability increases the risk that they will suffer serious harm.

Newborn wristbands can be easily misread

Patient wristbands are one tool that hospitals use to help doctors, nurses and other medical staff to correctly identify patients and avoid potentially dangerous mishaps. Unfortunately, the wristbands that many hospitals use for newborns can further exacerbate the risk of misidentification and wrong-patient errors.

When a baby is born at a hospital, he or she must receive an identification wristband right away, whether or not the parents have decided on a name. If a child is not named immediately after birth, many hospitals handle the identification issue by providing the newborn with a temporary first name such as Babygirl or Babyboy.

While convenient, this method results in greater similarity among baby names and further increases the potential for misidentification, particularly when among infants with similar surnames. For instance, a pair of newborns with wristbands reading Babygirl Johnson and Babygirl Johnston may be easily mixed up by hospital staff, increasing the risk that one may be given the wrong medication, monitored incorrectly or even undergo surgery intended for the other. Misidentification of newborns has even led in some cases to infants being discharged to the wrong families.

An easy fix shows promise

Fortunately, according to a study published recently in the medical journal Pediatrics, hospitals can minimize the risk of infant misidentification by making a simple change to the temporary naming system. By incorporating the mothers’ first names in the temporary baby names used for the wristbands, one neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) was able to reduce its number of wrong-patient orders by more than one-third.

In that system, the temporary names given to newborns were based on a combination of the mother’s first name and the baby’s gender, rather than on gender alone. Thus, baby girls born to Wendy Johnson and Anna Johnston would be named Wendysgirl Johnson and Annasgirl Johnston, respectively, making them more easily distinguishable from one another and reducing the likelihood of wrong-patient medical errors.

Patient mixups pose a threat at any age

For newborns as well as older patients of any age, wrong-patient errors can result in very serious health consequences and sometimes even death. They can occur as a result of simple inattentiveness, transcription errors, verbal misunderstandings, intake mistakes and a wide range of other circumstances.

If you, your child or another member of your family has been harmed as a result of receiving medical treatment intended for someone else, you may be able to receive financial compensation for the considerable costs of dealing with the complications, including medical expenses, lost income and more. Contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP, to learn more.

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April Johnson
April Johnson
15:54 30 Jun 23
Easy access to thr firm with a very nice Lawyer
Benjamin Roussey
Benjamin Roussey
19:03 29 Jun 23
No firm gets it done like RMFW. They are the best.They are awesome - for sure.
Roberto Martinez
Roberto Martinez
19:02 24 May 23
I’ve been in the personal injury field as an investigator for 29 years. All in New York City. Out of all the hundreds of Law Firms I’ve worked with, Rosenberg Minc Falkoff & Wolf, would have to be at the very top of my list. Amazing staff great attorneys.If you want the job done right, these are you guys.
Julio Ochoa
Julio Ochoa
20:49 18 May 23
I highly recommend Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP for their outstanding assistance in obtaining a settlement for an Erb's Palsy birth injury case. Their knowledge, dedication, and compassionate attitude were important in attaining a successful end. Their professionalism and assistance were simply outstanding from beginning to end. I am deeply thankful for their representation and would enthusiastically recommend them to anyone seeking justice in a similar situation.
Aisha Neri
Aisha Neri
20:29 18 May 23
I recently had the privilege of working with Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP on my daughter’s birth injury case involving Erb's Palsy, and I cannot express enough gratitude for their exceptional legal services. From the initial consultation to the successful settlement, they demonstrated profound expertise, unwavering dedication, and genuine compassion for my family's situation.From the very beginning, the team proved their commitment to justice. They thoroughly investigated the circumstances surrounding my child Erb's Palsy birth injury, leaving no stone unturned. Their extensive knowledge and understanding of medical malpractice law, coupled with their deep expertise in birth injury cases, provided us with tremendous confidence in their ability to handle our case.The attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff consistently displayed exceptional professionalism and attention to detail throughout the entire legal process. They meticulously gathered evidence, consulted with medical experts, and built a compelling case that clearly outlined the negligence and liability on the part of the medical professionals involved. One aspect that truly stood out was the genuine care and compassion exhibited by Daniel Minc, Lorraine Licul, and the entire team at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff. They treated us not just as clients but as individuals with unique emotions and concerns. They took the time to listen attentively to our worries, provided constant updates on the progress of our case, and promptly responded to our inquiries, ensuring we felt supported and reassured throughout the process. Their empathy and understanding made an immeasurable difference during such a challenging and emotionally taxing time.When it came time to negotiate a settlement, Daniel Minc demonstrated remarkable skill and tenacity. He fought fiercely on our behalf, advocating for fair compensation to cover any potential long-term effects of Erb's Palsy on my child's life. His negotiation skills were truly impressive, as they secured a settlement that exceeded our expectations and provided the financial resources necessary to support my child's future needs.I cannot recommend Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff highly enough to anyone seeking legal representation in Erb's Palsy birth injury cases or any other medical malpractice matters. Their extensive experience, unwavering dedication, and empathetic approach make them an exceptional choice for families navigating the complexities of birth injury litigation. Thanks to Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, my family now has the means to provide the best care and opportunities for my child's future.If you are seeking a law firm that combines legal expertise with genuine compassion, look no further than Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP. They will tirelessly fight for your rights and ensure your voice is heard, providing you with the support and justice you deserve.
Aoki R
Aoki R
17:14 17 May 23
I highly recommend Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP. They are a team of dedicated professionals fully committed to their clients. I have witnessed the firm's amazing work ethic in my experience with their attorneys and Lorraine Licul. Lorraine is a knowledable, empathetic and results-driven professional. Minc is an excellent attorney and I greatly appreciate the firm's expertise.
Michael Levites
Michael Levites
17:42 12 May 23
I have recommended this firm to some of my friends and I heard back only positive feedback about the client responsiveness, diligence and hard work put in by these attorneys. I will continue to refer anyone who suffered a personal injury to Rosenberg Minc..
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