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Publication Type: Patient Safety Alert
Single or Multiple Incident: Multiple
Date: 5/9/2019 12:00:00 AM
Country: United Kingdom
Organization: NHS Commissioning Board

This alert discusses the appropriate response for treatment when a baby is accidentally dropped. When a baby is accidentally dropped in hospital the immediate response is vital to ensuring any injuries are detected and treated as quickly as possible, but transfer of the baby to the emergency department is not always appropriate. Clinical staff need easily accessible practical advice in managing this situation. A review of 182 reports of babies who had been accidentally dropped in obstetric/ midwifery inpatient settings (eight with significant reported injuries, including fractured skulls and/or intracranial bleeds), 66 babies accidentally dropped on paediatric wards, and two in mother and baby units in mental health trusts. Almost all of these 250 incidents occurred when the baby was in the care of parents or visiting family members. Review of these reports highlighted inconsistencies in the immediate review, investigation and observation of the babies for signs of neurological trauma. This alert provides a resource to support providers to develop or update a tailored local guide on the initial actions to take when a baby has been accidentally dropped. The resource includes information on how toapply the NICE guidelines and special considerations for newborn babies.

Assessment and management of babies who are accidentally dropped in hospital