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Hospital Performed Surgery on Wrong Baby, Mom Says

The Short of It

A Tennessee mom claims the hospital where she delivered her son performed an unnecessary procedure on him, because they thought he was another baby.

The Lowdown

Jennifer Melton's son Nate was born healthy, so she was puzzled when she was told a doctor took him out of the nursery at the University Medical Center in Lebanon, Tenn., shortly after his birth and gave him a frenulectomy, which involves clipping the skin under the tongue to treat ankyloglossia, or tongue-tie.

When the little boy was returned to his mom after what she thought was a routine physical, Melton told CBS Nashville affiliate WTVF, "At that point the nurse started to mention the procedure they had done, that they had clipped his tongue....Essentially, they took our child, who was healthy, from the room and cut his mouth. At that point, I began to cry hysterically."

The doctor who performed the procedure said in a hospital progress report: "...I had asked for the wrong infant. I had likely performed the procedure on an infant different than the one I intended to ... and I admitted my mistake and apologized."

But Melton is understandably still very upset. She worries Nate will suffer from speech or eating problems later in life as a result of this mix up. She has since lawyered up with Clint Kelly who said, "The concern here is this was a healthy baby that was supposed to leave the hospital, but instead was harmed by the hospital."

The Upshot

Wow. I can't imagine how violated I would feel in Melton's position. You definitely go to the hospital trusting the medical professionals to help you, not hurt you. While everyone makes mistakes, this one seems extremely reckless. Didn't a nurse or another hospital staff member notice the wrong baby was being taken into a procedure room? Where are the checks and balances here? I truly feel for this family and hope little Nate will not have any lasting effects from this egregious error.

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