Assessment and management of babies who are accidentally dropped in hospital

A resource Patient Safety Alert has been issued to help organisations ensure any injuries to an accidentally dropped baby are detected and treated as quickly as possible.

The risks of accidentally dropping a baby are well known, particularly when a parent falls asleep while holding a baby; or when a parent or healthcare worker holding the baby slips, trips or falls. However, despite healthcare staff routinely using a range of approaches to make handling of babies as safe as possible, and advising new parents on how to safely feed, carry and change their babies, on rare occasions babies are accidentally dropped.

The immediate response is vital to ensuring any injuries to an accidentally dropped baby are detected and treated as quickly as possible, but as automatic transfer of the baby to the emergency department is not always appropriate, clinical staff need easily accessible practical advice in managing this situation.

This alert provides a resource to support providers to develop or update a tailored local guide on the initial actions to take when a baby has been accidentally dropped.

Patient safety alerts are shared rapidly with healthcare providers via the Central Alerting System (CAS).

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