Hospital confident in security

By Tonya Fennell: CNJ staff writer

A spokesman for the parent company of Plains Regional Medical Center said Monday he is confident in the modern approach the hospital takes to prevent infant abductions.

PRMC has had infant safety measures in place for five years, according to hospital officials.

“While the Lubbock incident has created a higher level of awareness,” said Presbyterian Healthcare Services spokesman Todd Sandman, “we (PRMC) maintain a level of security every day.”

The Clovis hospital averages 120 baby deliveries a month, according to PRMC officials.

Immediately following a birth, nurses affix an electronic device to the infant. The device, called a transducer, not only tracks the baby’s location but also activates “an annoying beep” if the baby comes within a few feet of an exit, Lisa Leos, clinical coordinator of the Women’s Unit, told the CNJ in June.

“The doors will also lock,” Leos said, “which requires the entire system to have to be reset.”

Mothers are also required to dress their babies in hospital-provided paper gowns, which enable staff to easily identify the PRMC babies, Leos said.

All mothers, fathers and infants also wear matching ID bracelets.

Leos said the Women’s Unit remains locked and visitors are screened. The nursery is also closed at all times and only accessible by medical personnel.