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Infant Hospital Abduction: SECURITY MEASURES TO AID IN PREVENTION

VINCENT, JANICE L. DSN, CRNP

MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: May-June 2009 - Volume 34 - Issue 3 - p 179–183
doi: 10.1097/01.NMC.0000351706.81502.d0
Feature article

The purpose of this article is to describe measures used to prevent abduction of infants from healthcare facilities. According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 122 infants were abducted from hospitals between 1983 and 2008; characteristics of the abductors have been found to be similar in the majority of infant abductions. The Joint Commission has established security standards, and conducts assessments to identify abduction risk within hospitals. Nurses can contribute to the safety and security of infants by following prevention plans which emphasize these and other actions: educating parents about abduction risks, using identically numbered bands on the baby and parents, taking color photographs of the infant, wearing color photograph ID badges themselves, discouraging parents/families from publishing birth notices in the public media, controlling access to nursery/postpartum unit, and utilizing infant security tags or abduction alarm systems.

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Janice L. Vincent is an Assistant Professor, Program Director of Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program, University of Alabama School of Nursing, University of Alabama in Birmingham, Birmingham, AL. She can be reached via e-mail at vincentj@uab.edu

The author has disclosed that she has no financial relationships related to this article.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.