Breast Pumps Missing From Waikato Hospital
Two mobile breast pumps are missing from Waikato Hospital's newborn intensive care unit and nurses say they are sure it was intentional theft. Charge nurse Cathy McBride said the pumps, worth $2000 each, were taken sometime between 5pm on Monday and 9am yesterday. Police are investigating. The unit, which currently has 24 newborn premature and sick babies, now only has one breast pump used by nearly all the mothers.
"Some of these babies were born at 24 weeks so they're here for 15-20 weeks. Our mums like to express milk for that whole time so that when baby goes home they can continue breast feeding," said Ms McBride. "So to lose two of our three breast pumps is very frustrating and we're all upset about this, including the mothers." It is not the first time breast pumps have gone missing from the unit. Until recently, the mobile breast pumps were chained in a room.
"But it's better to have the pumps by the baby so mothers get a better yield and it's a better experience for them." Darren Smith, the father of 11-day-old Cameron Smith, said it was "pretty low".
"It's not just one person who's affected; it's a lot of people." Cameron was born at 32-week gestation weighing 1266 grams (2lb 2ozs) and is now 1350 grams.
Ms McBride said the unit also had cameras stolen in the past. They were used to take pictures of babies near the end of their lives or if the mother was unable to see her baby. "At least it gives them the chance to have a photo." People also tried to take a sofa from the unit once.
Ms McBride appealed for the pumps' return "no questions asked" or if anyone had any information, to contact Hamilton Police.