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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford. I'm giving them a Knucklehead for their security lapses that led to a baby being kidnapped from their hospital and CFRH responses afterwards.

If it isn't bad enough the hospital watched as Jennifer Latham walked out with the baby, you got to listen to the 911 call here. Nobody at the hospital knew what was going on. Someone called 911 and then transfered the operator. She got bounced around, disconnected. A baby is kidnapped and CFRH couldn't make sure the authorites were properly notified. This hospital is totally incompetent in how they handle the safety of their patients. How did Latham get into L&D to start with? Does this hospital ever train employees for emergencies. Apparently not. I name Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford Today's Knucklehead of the Day.


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Comments (5)

Is it my imagination, or do... (Below threshold)

Is it my imagination, or do I see lawyers circling over the hospital?

Hospitals are supposed to h... (Below threshold)

Hospitals are supposed to have a plan for this type of thing and run drills on it.
Also, Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation uses this as a benchmark. I bet this hospital is not accreditted.

Huh. Amazing in this day an... (Below threshold)

Huh. Amazing in this day and age. The last couple of maternity wards I visited (not for my baby, just friends/grandkids) the mother and the baby were wrist banded at birth and the security guards checked both bands at the hospital exit to try and prevent just that occurrence (kidnapping). The nurses were ultra cautious about baby theft and paranoid about check-check-check the wristbands.

On the 911. I have to defend the hospital and 911 operators on that. 911 calls from a PBX served building are the worse due to the call is identified as coming from the main number. That is why, (well one of the reasons why), for example, there is a sign posted in most hotels to call the switchboard and let the hotel operator place the 911 call in case of an emergency. That way there is at least some hope of figuring out where the call (what room) the call came from.

And according to the article, the woman used several ruses to perpetrate the kidnap. She had an "ID of some sort." She dressed "professionally". She concealed the baby in a bag. The "code pink" alerted security and they at least made an attempt to stop the woman in the parking lot.

So what we have is the parents falling for a confidence game and some breakdown in training (or lack thereof) on the part of the hospital staff.

The 'tailgate' problem was/is/will always be an issue for security. In the secure computer rooms I work in now, there are revolving doors that allow a single person to enter/egress at a time just to prevent tailgating. (the downside to this, large individuals [300lbs+], or people carrying heavy bags, will cause the door to lock, trapping the individual in the door.) So the error here was a poorly trained staffer allowing someone to tailgate them through a secure exit door.

The failure analysis could go on and on and I guess I am waffling on the knucklehead part. I think the real lesson here is the parent(s) need to be ultra cautious when releasing their newborn to any staff, and immediately notify the nurses desk if anyone seems a bit suspicious around their baby.

What has the world come to?..................

If the hospital had failed ... (Below threshold)
Kurt V.:

If the hospital had failed in its duties, they would not have detected the abduction in the first place and they would not have captured video of the perpetrator, both of which are essential in the healthcare infant abduction prevention guidelines. In fact, the abductor was captured and the infant returned within 90 minutes due to the hospital security processes.

The only way to get close to absolutely guarenteeing protection for infants is to access to all visitors including family, since statistically speaking, an abduction is 100 times more likely to be committed by a family member than by a stranger.

In terms of the "Knucklehead of the Day" rating, its typical to blame others without understanding the particular barriers to success society places on these organizations.

So I have to say I think you are off base. Could they have done better? Sure! But they could have done a lot worse. As it was, they got the essential things done to recover the infant.

"The only way to get close ... (Below threshold)
Kurt V.:

"The only way to get close to absolutely guarenteeing protection for infants is to access to all visitors including family,.."

That should be "deny access to all visitors"






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