The incident happened at MercyOne on Dec. 28, 2021, when the man slipped past a nurse and entered into a secure area in the neonatal intensive care unit, according to the Des Moines Police Department.
Police said once inside the NICU, the man misrepresented himself as an infant’s father and then bottle-fed the baby before leaving. The baby was not harmed.
Surveillance video captured the man in the act. Police have released a photo of the man in an effort to identify him.
In a statement provided to WHO, MercyOne called the incident “extremely troubling” and said it has since changed its policies and expanded security to keep this from happening again.
“MercyOne takes the safety and security of our patients and families very seriously. The incident that took place last month is extremely troubling,” MercyOne said in the statement. “We are actively cooperating with the Des Moines Police Department on this ongoing investigation and have conducted an internal investigation into the matter, which prompted several changes to our policies and protocols to expand our security and prevent this from occurring in the future.”
The changes include re-education of NICU and security personnel on safety and security policies, increased identification checks and visitor sign-ins, and increased security and staffing at the NICU and baby nurseries.