Published July 18, 2011
GEELONG, Australia – Two newborn babies were mistakenly given to the wrong mothers who then breastfed them at an Australian hospital, the Herald Sun reported Monday.
The babies were given to the wrong mothers at St. John of God Hospital in Geelong -- about 46 miles southwest of the Victorian state capital Melbourne -- at 6:30 a.m. Friday, and the mistake was not discovered until 3:00 p.m.
The incident may have occurred after the babies' identification bracelets were not checked against those of the mothers.
"Human error" was blamed for the mix-up.
In a statement issued Monday the hospital said it "deeply regrets" the incident, which occurred in the maternity unit.
Hospital chief executive Stephen Roberts and nursing staff had apologized to both families and had been supporting them throughout the weekend, the statement said.
The hospital has also been investigating how the mistake occurred.