South Australia is planning to tag newborn babies with electronic tracking devices to improve safety

(Photo by Bastiaan Beentjes/Getty Images)

The Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide is considering the use of electronic tracking anklets on newborn babies to ensure they not swapped, abducted nor misplaced.

The electronic bracelets replace tradition identification tags and are clipped to babies’ ankles and matched to their mothers’ wristbands in the ­delivery room.

According to The Australian, removal of the baby from the maternity would set off a hospital shutdown of security doors, sirens and alert security services.

“Earlier this month, we put a ‘request for information’ to the market regarding electronic tracking within our ­hospital, including tracking medical equipment (and) the potential for using electronic tags to monitor mothers and their newborn babies,” the Women’s and Children’s Hospital said in a statement.

“Current practices are completely safe and there have been no cases of babies being lost.

“This process reflects a desire to ensure we remain at the forefront of safe and modern practices.”

The review into current IT systems is an attempt to revamp outdated technologies especially after British hospitals introduced the electronic tagging system in 2005.

The tags which “require the ability to pair mother and baby and have mismatch notification with methods of detection and ways to communicate the mismatch to nursing staff”, have already for been used for two decades in some parts overseas.

“There’s a reassuring chirp that occurs when both the right mother and the right baby are placed together, and that chirp does not occur when it’s the wrong baby and the wrong mother,” Nursing and Midwifery Federation state secretary Elizabeth Dabars told the ABC.

“We must do all that we can to protect babies and of course keep their mothers safe as well.”

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