Stranger sneaks into Iowa neonatal ICU and bottle-feeds baby

·2 min read

DES MOINES — An unidentified person walked into the neonatal intensive care unit at MercyOne Medical Center in Des Moines and bottle-fed someone else's baby, KCCI-TV reported Tuesday.

According to the TV station, the person slipped past a nurse, bottle-fed the baby and then left. The incident, which took place in late December, was captured on surveillance footage. KCCI reported Des Moines police said the person was trespassing, but the motive is unknown. The child was reportedly unharmed.

Des Moines Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Paul Parizek told the Des Moines Register on Wednesday that the incident occurred at 11:24 p.m. on Dec. 28. He said the suspect misrepresented himself as the infant's father.

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"MercyOne takes the safety and security of our patients and families very seriously. The incident that took place last month is extremely troubling," MercyOne said in a statement Tuesday. "We are actively cooperating with the Des Moines Police Department on this ongoing investigation and have conducted an internal investigation into the matter, which prompted several changes to our policies and protocols to expand our security and prevent this from occurring in the future."

According to the statement, changes to the hospital's policies include re-education of NICU and security staff on all safety and security procedures and protocols, increased identification checks and visitor log sign-ins and increased staffing at the NICU and baby nurseries.

"MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center continues to focus on providing safe and compassionate care and living out the ministry set forth by the Sisters of Mercy more than 130 years ago," the statement said.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Stranger sneaks into Iowa hospital NICU and bottle-feeds baby

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