Moultrie Observer

Local News

March 16, 2012

Colquitt Regional Medical Center installs infant protection system

MOULTRIE — Parents of newborns at Colquitt Regional Medical Center can now feel an added measure of comfort thanks to a new state-of-the-art infant protection system called “Cuddles.”

The new security system consists of tiny bracelets for the newborns that are constantly monitored by RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology. The RFID device provides a unique identifier for the infant much the way a magnetic strip does on an ATM card.

Each newborn at Colquitt Regional Medical Center wears an RFID-enabled ankle bracelet that gives nurses the ability to track its location. If the bracelet is removed or tampered with, the system automatically sounds an alarm and locks the doors of the unit. Although it is normal for infants to lose weight in the days immediately after birth, the soft infant bracelet expands and shrinks to accommodate changes in weight, which minimizes the chance of a bracelet coming off and initiating a false alarm.  The bracelets, once activated, cannot be turned off and can only be deactivated by nursery personnel.

Jim Matney, President and CEO of Colquitt Regional Medical Center, says the new security system is part of the hospital’s goal to use technological advances to provide the highest level of care.

"This is one of many measures we have in place to keep the babies safe,” he said. “Colquitt Regional Medical Center is setting the standard for healthcare by providing the latest high technology in all areas of care we provide while still giving a personal touch to our patients."

Debbie Hayes, RNC, director of maternal infant services at Colquitt Regional Medical Center, says the new system will give the nursing staff the ability to easily track all the infants in their care and ensure the baby’s safety.

“Each newborn at Colquitt Regional Medical Center wears a sensor on the ankle,” she explained. “Information about the infant is entered into a monitored computer and the system tracks the infant at all times while on the maternity floor. If the baby is in the vicinity of the exits, an alarm sounds, the doors lock and the exact location of the baby is identified.”

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