Security for Newborn Abductions

Atchison Hospital Installs State of the Art Security System to Prevent Newborn Abductions

May 24th 2005
Atchison Hospital, Atchison Kansas
Contact: Michele Malone, 913-367-6616

More than 250 hospitals in the US have experienced the tragedy of an infant abduction from their nursery or maternal care unit. Atchison Hospital CEO John Jacobson takes such a threat seriously- and as a result, he and his Board have put their money where their compassion is. "We're proud to announce to our community the installation of a 30,000 security system that's designed to help make sure no one loses a baby from our hospital" says Jacobson, who notes the alarm system was purchased in part with a 10,000 monetary gift from the Atchison Hospital Auxiliary. "We appreciate the caring concern and generosity of our volunteers. One of the things we value most in our community is our children, and keeping our babies safe is important to all of us."

The new system uses a combination of sophisticated electronic and computer technology. Each baby is tagged with a radio transmitter, which the system locates (like a Global Positioning Device) every few seconds. If the baby gets too close to a door or the system can't locate the baby for even a few seconds, the entire unit locks down and alarms sound.

Tampering with the transmitter in any way also activates the security system within fractions of a second. "This system is part of an overall approach to infant abduction prevention", says RN Manager Theresa Miller. "We also provide special training for parents and for our staff all across the hospital. Everyone periodically participates in abduction prevention drills."

Says CEO Jacobson "Although we're in a small friendly community, we know now that we're not immune to this possibility. Even small hospitals have been the targets of this terrible crime. The Board and I feel strongly that we can't ignore the threat of this, because an infant abduction would be heartbreaking. Our vigilance is required to help make sure that never happens here, and we've taken this latest step to make sure our families and babies get the best care- in the safest possible environment- right here."

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