STATE COLLEGE (AP) — A central Pennsylvania nurse may have mistakenly given a newborn pain medication meant for the baby’s mother, police say.
The baby’s father claimed a nurse in the maternity ward at Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College stopped by the day after the child was born last month to give a painkiller to the mother, who had a cesarean section, and to help her feed the infant, authorities say.
Police allege the nurse put the medicine in the wrong IV, the Centre Daily Times reported. The nurse was known to the couple only as “Deb,” and authorities are seeking records to identify her. Court documents indicate the boy’s father told police that the nurse left and did not return, and that he later learned she did not report the incident to her supervisor before leaving at the end of her shift. The infant immediately tensed up but it was not until later that day, as the child continued to have breathing and temperature problems, that hospital staff learned from the father about the switched medication. The baby spent four or five days being treated at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, about 80 miles from State College, before recovering, according to a search warrant application.
Search warrants indicated police are considering endangerment and neglect charges. A Mount Nittany spokeswoman told the paper the hospital is cooperating with the investigation and reviewing procedures to prevent similar errors.