Hospital Steps Up Security To Protect Newborns

San Gorgonia Memorial Hospital Introduces New Technology

Hospital Steps up Security to Protect Newborns

BANNING, Calif. - A new baby monitoring system is now being used at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in Banning.

It's designed to prevent a "code pink" -- or an infant abduction.

"In the news recently there's been a lot of infant abductions and we knew we needed to upgrade our system and this one came highly recommended," said Jan Merrick, an emergency preparedness coordinator at the hospital.

Tiny, soft bracelets are being used. They snugly fit on a newborn's ankle. It works like a homing device -- sending a signal so it's known where babies are at all times in the maternity ward.

The system automatically locks exits and sounds an alarm if someone tries to leave the area with a baby.

"We say it's the one and only time a baby is going to be under house arrest. The parents start laughing. We express the importance, but also try to keep it light because the last thing we want to produce is any fear in the mothers something like that could happen here," said Janis Jacobson, an obstetrics nurse.

Nurses say parents are very happy with the new security measure.

"I thought it was great. That is a big fear for moms or even parents in general -- to have their kids getting taken," said Ann Coopersmith, who just gave birth to a boy who's been wearing the bracelet.

Jacobson said it's sad to have to prepare for possible abductions, but they want to do everything to protect newborns.

"It is prevalent. People are out there who want to steal a baby because they're that desperate to have one. But we're always on guard. Always," said Jacobson.

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