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Infant Abduction

Preventing and Suspected Abduction Guidelines
Preventing Infant Abduction

  1. Perform hand hygiene.
  2. Clean extremities where ID bands and security bracelets will be located.
  3. As soon as the infant is stabilized after birth and before leaving the delivery room, verify exact ID band information with the mother's ID band and apply ID bands securely to opposing limbs, such as right wrist and left ankle, or per institutional policy. In case of multiple infants, the mother should wear an ID band corresponding to each infant's ID bands.
  4. Apply the security bracelet to another limb or per institutional policy.
  5. Perform hand hygiene.
  6. Confirm computer tracking of bracelet on security system, if applicable.
  7. Footprint infant on designated form.
  8. Take photographs as indicated by institutional policy and label with the infant's name, date of birth, time of birth, delivering physician or midwife, and ID band number. File one copy with the infant's chart. Give one copy to the family for their records.
  9. Advise the family to keep the infant within their sight at all times unless removed from the room by appropriate staff with unit-specific photo ID badges.
  10. Transport the infant via approved in-hospital transportation only - such as a bassinette, warmer, or isolette - or per institutional policy.
  11. When reuniting an infant with the family, visually check the infant's ID band information against the mother's or support person's ID band information. The nurse may also check the infant's ID band information while the mother or support person reads aloud their ID band information.
  12. Document the procedure in the patient's record.

Suspected Infant Abduction 

Note: Universal Code for Infant Abduction is:  Code Pink

  1. Immediately notify the charge nurse who will be responsible for notifying security and initiating the institution's infant abduction procedures.
  2. Position available staff at unit exit points to detain all persons attempting to leave the unit.
  3. Search the unit and the computer tracking system, if applicable, for the missing infant. If the infant is confirmed to be missing, the local police should be notified per institutional policy.
  4. Secure the missing infant's record and any blood samples from the infant.
  5. Place the family of the missing infant in a private room and have the primary nurse for the infant remain with the family.
  6. Follow institutional policy for further staff and patient interventions.
  7. Document the procedure in the patient's record.