Babies of namesakes get swapped at Puri hospital

Puri: Tension erupted at the District Headquarters Hospital in the pilgrim town of Puri today following allegations of baby swapping. However, later it was found out that the babies got swapped due to confusion on account of similar names of their mothers.

According to sources, a woman whose baby was admitted to the Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) of the hospital reported that her baby was missing when she went to breast feed the infant.

While another patient alleged that she was offered a baby girl instead of her infant boy.

When relatives of the patients lodged complaints with the hospital authorities, they were shooed away and misbehaved with, claimed the attendants.

Maheswar Pradhan, a patient’s relative said “They asked us to bring the baby boy to the SNCU as he was suffering from jaundice. The medical staff did not allow us to enter inside the department and asked us to wait outside. Later when we entered inside, the staff said the infant was missing. The doctor present there also asked us sign a document saying that our child is missing.”

Later on police probed the matter and said due to similar names of their mothers, there was confusion and the matter has been resolved.

“Both the patients name was Rashmita. Therefore medical staff got confused. No baby had been taken outside the hospital. Mistakenly a woman had taken one child and later she returned and accepted her fault,” said Krushna Chandra Mandal, the police officer investigating the case.

On the other hand, Revenue Minister Maheswar Mohanty said a report has been sought from the Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) on the matter.

“The issue has been brought to my notice and I have asked the CDMO to inquire. Preliminary investigation by police shows there was some confusion due to similar names,” the minister added.