The parents of a newborn boy delivered at University Medical Center in Lebanon, Tennessee were horrified when they were told that their baby was subjected to surgery after he was only supposed to be taken for a routine physical inspection.
According reports, the doctor who had performed the surgery somehow performed a tongue clipping procedure on the wrong baby without a signed consent form.
Jennifer Melton, the mother of Nate, the baby who underwent the unnecessary surgery, reportedly broke down into hysterics when a nurse returned her son to her after a few hours and told her about the surgery to clip his tongue.
That was when Melton learned that a frenectomy was performed on her baby.
A frenectomy is a surgical procedure that clips or removes a flap of skin under the tongue to allow mobility if it impedes movement. However, Nate's tongue was normal and he was subjected to the procedure needlessly.
The doctor who performed the surgery without the parents' signed consent has not been identified, however, admitted his error in the hospital report about the incident:
"... I had asked for the wrong infant. I had likely performed the procedure on an infant different than the one I intended to ... and I admitted my mistake and apologized," he said.
Melton and Nate's father have hired an attorney who said that there is simply no excuse for the mix-up.
"It's recklessness. There's no excuse for cutting on a healthy child. There's no excuse for mixing up babies at a hospital," said Clint Kelly, the couple's lawyer.
"Essentially they took our child who was healthy from the room and cut his mouth," said Melton in an exclusive interview with WTVF.
Although a frenectomy is described as a minor procedure which is sometimes even performed at a dentist office, Kelly noted that the infant surgery could affect Nate's development as he grows, particular if he will have future eating or speech problems.
The hospital has not commented on the case stating federal privacy regulations.
Photos: Bridget Coila | Flickr