U.S. News


Tennessee Doctor Performs Surgery On The Wrong Baby

A portion of skin beneath the infant's tongue was unnecessarily removed.
Posted at 11:02 AM, Feb 09, 2016

A doctor in Tennessee somehow performed surgery on the wrong infant.

In an exclusive interview, the parents told Newsy's partners at WTVF their son Nate was taken for a routine physical shortly after his birth at University Medical Center in Lebanon. But a couple hours later when the baby returned, a nurse started talking about a procedure they'd done. 

"Essentially they took our child who was 100 percent healthy, nursing well, no issues at all, and took him out of the nursery and cut his mouth. At that point I began to cry hysterically," Nate's mother told WTVF. 

The procedure performed is called a frenulectomy, in which a portion of skin under the tongue is cut. It's used on infants whose tongues have a restricted range of motion, but Nate's was reportedly normal before the incident. 

The doctor who performed the surgery admitted in a progress report to accidentally asking for the wrong infant. 

"We don't know whether the child's going to have speech problems. We don't know if the child's going to have any eating problems. The concern here is this was a healthy baby that was supposed to leave the hospital healthy, and instead was harmed by the hospital," the family's attorney told WTVF. 

The hospital wouldn't comment specifically on the incident because of federal privacy regulations.