ST. PAUL, Minn. - Regions Hospital is apologizing for mishandling the body of a stillborn baby boy that was discovered wrapped in a dirty sheet dropped off at a laundry in Red Wing.
Officers were called to the Crothal laundry just before 12:30 p.m. after the infant's body tumbled out of a bed sheet that was being prepared for cleaning. The baby had a tag on its ankle and was wearing a diaper. The linens were traced to Regions Hospital.
On Tuesday, Regions disclosed that the remains had been wrapped in linen in the Regions Hospital morgue, and were mistaken for laundry that was to be sent for cleaning. Regions officials immediately collected the remains and secured them according to proper procedures.
A Regions spokesperson says the hospital is reaching out to the family to notify them of the mistake, to express deep apologies and to offer support. In addition, it has offered to provide support and counseling to the employees of the linen service.
"This was a terrible mistake, and we are deeply sorry," said Chris Boese, chief nursing officer, Regions Hospital. "We have processes in place that should have prevented this but did not. We are working to identify the gap in our system, and to make sure this does not happen again."
Both a Red Wing police source and an employee of the laundry told KARE 11 they were a bit frustrated that Crothall officials called Regions Hospital before calling police when the child's body was discovered.
Later Wednesday afternoon Crothall Healthcare released a written statement reading:
Crothall Healthcare associates were deeply saddened by the discovery of the stillborn baby amid linens they were sorting at the Red Wing plant yesterday morning. Immediately upon discovery we contacted the hospital.
"Our hearts go out to all those who were affected by this tragic situation," commented Crothall President Steve Carpenter, "and we plan to offer support and counseling to all of our people at the plant."
Regions is coordinating and sharing information with all relevant agencies including the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's office, the police departments of Red Wing and St. Paul, and the Minnesota Department of Health.
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