MEDFORD, Ore. — Technology has saved a newborn – not in the NICU, but rather as a California woman tried to steal the baby from her mother’s delivery room. That woman was stopped by specialized security system. It’s similar technology that Rogue Regional Medical Center says protects the 1,800 newborn babies that are born here each year
Katie Campos delivered her first baby at an Asante Hospital and is back to welcome her first niece, saying the near kidnapping of a newborn in California tugs at every mother’s heart.
“You do everything you can to protect your little tiny helpless little being,” Campos says.
Luckily, in that case, a sensor saved the baby from the suspect. A device called the ‘Hugs Unit’ at Rogue Regional Medical Center alerts staff if the baby is moved beyond an approved zone.
“Gets close to a door it automatically locks the door, if someone tries to breach those doors an alarm will be set off,” explains Security Supervisor Thomas Ellis.
It’s a scenario Campos says should be the last on the worry list during this trying time.
“It shouldn’t even cross your mind, it shouldn’t even be a worry,” Campos says. “You should be able to focus on all the things that come with new motherhood.”
Officials say the suspect in the California case, Grisel Ramirez, posed as hospital staff asked the mom to shower and then took the baby. Campos says the system protects against any deceit.
“We did allow the nurses to care for our newborn for a short time when we needed some rest and we were assured by the hugs unit,” Campos explains.
Providence has a similar system intact, along with ‘couplet care’, ensuring the same team of staff will care for baby and mom throughout their stay.
Law enforcement officials say the suspect in this case could face a lifetime in prison. Police say at this point they don’t have a solid reason why the suspect, Grisel Ramirez, was allegedly trying to steal the baby. They say the undocumented mother of two has been uncooperative with investigators.