Preventing Abductions High Priority For East Texas Hospitals

At Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, an infant security system has been in place since the 1990's.

"It's a very secure system and we've been very pleased with it," says Trinity Mother Frances Health System Public Information Officer John Moore.

Walking through the maternity ward, video cameras--even ones that are not so obvious--are eyeing the halls 24 hours a day.

All newborns, have a security tracking device around their little ankles. They trigger sensors strategically placed in the halls, sounding an alarm if they get past a certain point.

"That system, once it's activated, instantly will tell you on the security screen where it's activated. So you know exactly where you need to go and how you need to react," says Moore.

At East Texas Medical Center, Director of Family Birthplace Janie Coffman says, "We had a code pink, an accidental one, last week because the baby just got too close to the door."

At ETMC a security anklets is also used on infants.

"If anyone cuts this band it alarms at the computer, it tells exactly where the tag is at the time," says Coffman.

ETMC also performs drills at random, knowing every second counts finding an abducted newborn.

"We monitor times, how long it takes to lock down the unit, how long it takes to get someone to the baby and we don't get out the front door so that's a good thing," Coffman adds.

Officials say parents should rest assured their newborns are in good hands and the hospitals'  utmost concern is that they don't get into the wrong ones.

"I think all of us here are protective of all of our patients, but there's something about a little baby that makes you a lot more aware and that's certainly true of our nursing staff," says Moore.

Both Mother Francis Hospital and ETMC say, employees wear specific badges so patients know they're dealing with a legitimate nurse and not someone who's dressed up like one--which is what happened in Lubbock.

We also to talked to Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview who has similar procedures in place, but didn't want to divulge specifics for security reasons.

Christine Nelson reporting.