MINNEAPOLIS -- On the same week that Regions Hospital officials announced the displacement of two stillborns, hundreds of health care workers gathered in Minneapolis for an international infant loss conference.
Conference organizersquickly changed theirdiscussion topicsto include what they consider a "cautionary tale."
"We, as professionals, have been very concerned, hearing the sad story not once, but twice this week... It's something that we're not going to tolerate, and we want people to be aware of," said Cathi Lammert, President of the Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance.
Lammert's comments follow a tumultuous week for the St. Paul Regions Hospital. On Tuesday, workers at a Red Winglaundry facility discovered the remains of a22-week stillborn. Then on Friday, the hospital came forward again, saying they believe a 19-week stillborn was accidentally transferredin the samebasket of linens.
"There are no words to describe how deeply saddened we are and how sorry we are for this terrible mistake," said Brock Nelson, president and CEO of Regions Hospital.
In a statement on Saturday, Crothall Healthcare -- the Red Wing laundry facility -- said they had not found the remains of the second stillborn.The statement also mentioned that the hospital would be "reviewing the laundry over the weekend."
Regions Hospital officials confirmed on Saturday they were "cooperating fully with inquiries from the Minnesota Department of Health and Law Enforcement."Officials said the hospitals has also immediately implemented the following changes to their procedures: an improved identification process that ensures a clear visual identification; an enhanced tracking process; andan additional level of security and supervision in the area.
Meantime, experts at theinfant loss conference say they hope other hospitalsheed the warningdemonstrated in the Regions case. They urge hospitals to review their policies and bring in experts trained in how to handle infant loss.
"We all need to make sure that all hospitals are providing the best care that we possibly can to the bereaved families who experience these losses... Thesebabies are loved and they need to be cared for with the deepest respect," she said.