Baby switch in Rizal: A case of motherly instinct and concerns over hospital’s accountability

February 10, 2021 - 10:14 AM
Photo by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash

A case of newborn child born in a provincial hospital was mixed up with another when it was carried to parents was received online with calls for accountability.

In an episode of GMA’s Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho last Sunday, February 7, a certain Aprhil Sifiata found out she was given the wrong child after she gave birth last January 18 in a hospital in Rizal.

The report stated that Sifiata initially had a hunch that the child presented to her was not her own.

Then, her aunt also noticed that the child’s name and the date of birth in the tag were incorrect.

“Sabi ko bakit yung tag, mali? Tsaka ‘di ba nanganak ka, (Janjuary) 18? Bakit nakalagay dito, 1/17/21? Sabi ko: ‘Sis, hindi ba nagkakaroon ng palitan ng baby dito?” the aunt was quoted as saying.

A staff member at the hospital later admitted that a baby tag, which indicates whose mother the baby belongs to, had fallen off.

It was only after Aprhil and her husband Marvin asked for a DNA test, with the help of the KMJS team, that they confirmed that the child presented to them was not theirs.

The family whose baby was apparently switched with theirs was already informed and also agreed to conduct a DNA test, the report said.

The Department of Health was later informed about this incident. Its Health Facilities and Services Regulatory Bureau told GMA News it will conduct an investigation into the hospital’s practices and procedures that allowed the mixup to happen.

“Papa-imbestigahan namin kung ano nangyari and kung talagang may negligence on the part of the hospital kasama yung kanilang personnel. Then magsa-sanction kami, baka i-suspend namin ang kanilang lisensiya or impose a fine,” said Atty. Nicolas Lustero, director of the bureau.

Settle damages, hospital told

KMJS’s Facebook video of it gathered 414,000 reactions and 30,000 comments.

Comments expressed sympathy toward the couple, especially to Aprhil. Social media users urged the hospital to account for the damage.

“The hospital should pay all the damages and costs they’d done to both of the families. The people in the NICU should have their licenses suspended. This should not have happened. It means they’re not doing their job right! Hoping to both of the family to get your right baby soon! (praying emoji)” a user said.

Others wondered what could have happened if the mother’s instinct didn’t prompt the family to take a DNA test?

“Pasalamat nalang po tayo merong DNA test pero kung wala di po natin malalaman kung kanino bang sanggol yan salamat nalang sa KMJS at tinulungan nila ang mag-asawa na mapa DNA,” one user said.

“Iba talaga ang Instinct ng tunay na ina,” another said.

Others also asked whether the other family realized they might have gotten the wrong child.

“Yung kapalitan kaya nia ‘dii nagtaka bigla nagbago mukha ng anak niya? Ang tigas din eh, parang pinipilit niyang kanya yun. Kawawa naman tong isang nanay na naghintay na matagal para magkaanak. Wala man lang lukso ng dugo yung isang nanay eh no,” the user said.