N.Y. Hospital Adds Surveillance to Maternity Ward

Published: May 20, 2008

UTICA, N.Y. – Officials at Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare have added new surveillance equipment in the pediatrics, maternity and labor and delivery units to help prevent infant abductions.

Prior to the installation of the new system, ID bracelets were attached to newborns that triggered an alarm if they were tampered with or taken out of the maternity ward. Ideally, the hospital was to go into lockdown if the alarm went off; however, if the alarm never sounded, there was no physical barrier.

The new system cost the hospital around $75,000 and was funded by the Children’s Miracle Network.

Additionally, guests visiting the ward must now be buzzed in by someone at the nurses station, and there will no longer be public access to the maternity floor.

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According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, more than half of the 252 infants abducted nationwide between 1983 and 2008 were taken from healthcare facilities.

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