A newborn in Mount Nittany Medical Center’s maternity ward was mistakenly given its mother’s pain medication, and State College police are investigating the nurse who administered the injection, according to court papers related to the incident.
Police are investigating the incident as a possible reckless endangerment and child endangerment case, according to a search warrant police filed last week for the mother’s and baby’s medical records. According to an affidavit police submitted to obtain the search warrant, the baby’s health worsened after it was given an intravenous shot of Toradol. The baby was taken to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville and treated there for a few days before being released.
The husband reported the incident to police on Aug. 4, several days after the baby was released from Geisinger. The baby “was able to work (its) way through” the incident, police said.
A hospital spokeswoman declined to comment about the specific details of the incident because of the investigation and privacy concerns.
“We are concerned by any situation that impacts a patient’s safety,” spokeswoman Nichole Monica said. “In addition to conducting our own review and analysis, we are cooperating with those investigating, and we are assessing and reviewing our practices, training and monitoring procedures to prevent errors.”
The husband told police his wife delivered the baby by Caesarean section in July.
The morning after the infant was born, a nurse came to give the mother the pain medication and help her breast-feed her baby.
That’s when the medication was given to the baby, through its IV, and not the mother through her IV, police said.
The baby tensed up immediately, police said, and the nurse stopped and gave the medication to the mother through her IV.
The husband told police the nurse left and didn’t come back. He later learned, police said, that the nurse didn’t report the incident to her supervisor and went home after her shift was over.