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New baby-tagging feature to give parents greater assurance

SINGAPORE — Gleneagles Hospital has introduced a new feature to its infant identification system to give parents of newborns greater assurance and peace of mind.

SINGAPORE — Gleneagles Hospital has introduced a new feature to its infant identification system to give parents of newborns greater assurance and peace of mind.

In addition to the usual two identity bands that are placed on babies’ ankles, the hospital has added another feature — radio frequency identification (RFID) tags.

These tags will be attached to the infant, the infant’s cot and the mother, and an alert will sound if the infant is placed in the wrong cot or handed to the wrong mother.

In November last year, a baby mix-up took place at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital after an infant was given the wrong identification tag, resulting in two couples going home with the wrong babies.

Gleneagles said yesterday that since Sept 16, all babies born in the hospital have been fitted with an RFID tag. A second RFID tag with the corresponding radio frequency is attached to a specially-prepared bracket on a cot.

If the baby and cot are correctly matched, the tag will flash a green light and sound a musical chime.

If the baby is placed in the wrong cot, a red light will flash and an alert will sound.

A third corresponding tag is placed on the mother’s wrist.

If the mother is handed the right baby, the tag on the mother’s wrist will also flash a green light and sound a musical chime.

This is on top of checking that the mother’s information tallies with the information on the baby’s identity bands.

Likewise, an incorrect matching between mother and baby will elicit a red light and an alert sound.

The hospital said that “feedback from patients has been positive and parents have even expressed positive feedback about the good use of technology”.

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