Special Correspondent

Arm tags switched “accidentally”

One of the mothers refuses to accept girl child

CHENNAI: A bizarre turn of events frustrated the joy of two mothers who gave birth to babies within 20 minutes of each other: hospital staff had mixed up the newborns.

For several hours on Friday morning, tension prevailed at the Government RSRM Hospital in Royapuram, with the parents demanding that hospital authorities establish the parentage of each child.

The mothers, Kamakshi and Farida, had developed complications and undergone Caesarian sections on Thursday.

As per hospital records, Kamakshi was delivered of a girl baby and Farida, of a boy.

Resident Medical Officer K. Hebzibah said an announcement was made over the hospital’s public address system about the sex of each child immediately after birth.

This information was recorded in six different hospital registers.

Arm tags were fixed, as per procedure, on the mothers, and the babies were given coordinated numbers. Confusion set in after the babies were taken to the mothers after a bath.

Initial enquiries revealed that the tags on the babies’ arms were switched “accidentally” after the bath.

The boy was taken to Kamakshi and the girl was taken to Farida. The mothers fed the respective babies.

The mistake was discovered by the hospital authorities themselves, who then informed the mothers.

While Farida agreed, Kamakshi insisted that she had given birth to a boy and refused to accept the girl child. Dr. Hepzibah said the only option was a DNA test.

However, it is learnt that the request for a DNA report would have to be made by a police officer on receipt of a complaint.

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