DCH Health System hospitals are among the first in Alabama to use a new infant safety system that digitally scans a baby's footprints after birth.
The new system allows staff at the Women's Center at DCH Regional Medical Center and the Women's Pavilion at Northport Medical Center to capture high-resolution footprints of newborns. The digital footprints and a security photo are stored in the newborn's electronic medical record. The scan can be used for precise identification in situations like abduction, lost baby or natural disaster.
"Much like fingerprints, footprints are unique to each baby, so they can be used for identification throughout a lifetime," said Traci Swann, nurse manager of the Newborn Nursery at DCH Regional Medical Center.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children recommended the system to hospitals in its most recent Infant Security Guidelines. The system replaces the time-consuming and messy ink and paper method.
Each new mother receives a printed certificate of her newborn's footprint. When she returns home, she can visit www.firstfootprint.com to enhance the certificate with colors, different fonts and borders. She can also download a digital copy of her baby's footprint. These additional benefits are provided as a gift from DCH.