Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It’s not a “one-off case”

According to this report, the recent case of baby mix-up at KKH was a “one-off case”.

“Other hospitals My Paper contacted also said that they have a strict and robust system in place to prevent baby mix-ups, and that the recent incident at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) was a one-off case.”

And in page A3 of today’s Straits Times, a report of the same incident quoted thus:

“But obstetricians said they have never heard of two babies getting mixed up before in Singapore. Private obstetrician Jothi Kumar said that in his more than 30 year’s experience, “this is the first time I’ve heard of such a thing happening”.

Well, these people are all mistaken. I remember clearly a similar case happening at one of Singapore’s leading private hospitals sometime in the early 1990s. At that time, we at the National Productivity Board were promoting Quality practices and the principle of “100% Right”, and hence I was always on the lookout for such news articles. A quick newspaper search at the NLB’s newspaper archives revealed the following article in page 2 of the Straits Times, dated 23/2/1992:

“Hospital mix-up sends baby home with wrong mother”.

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