News

Nurse tapes newborn's mouth

Parents were told it's because baby was 'too noisy'

Their son was born earlier this month and had to stay in hospital for a few days due to an infection.

The mother had to go to the maternity hospital in Cebu, the Philippines, every day to breastfeed him.

But when she went to the hospital last week, she was shocked to find the newborn's lips taped.

When she and her husband asked why, a nurse allegedly told them that the baby was "too noisy", Sun.Star Cebu reported.

The mother asked the nurse to remove the tape. The nurse allegedly told the mother to remove the plaster, but she eventually volunteered to remove it.

While removing it, a bit of skin from the boy's lips stuck on the tape, causing the child to cry even more, the report said.

Pictures of the baby boy, his eyes shut and his mouth covered with clear tape, sparked a furore as they spread on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

The Cebu Puericulture Centre and Maternity House in the central city of Cebu told AFP that it was investigating a complaint by Mr Ryan Noval and Ms Jasmine Badocdoc.

Mr Noval wrote that the couple complained to the hospital authorities after they were told by a nurse: "Your baby was too noisy, so I put that over his mouth."

HORRIFIC EXPERIENCE

"Meet my son Yohannes Noval," the father wrote on Facebook. "(He) cannot speak about his horrific experience...so we have to speak out for him."

"This is not even close to being professional or humane," the furious father wrote on Facebook.

Netizens were quick to react with customary anger and scorn.

"Hope that stupid nurse (goes) to jail who put the tape in the mouth of the baby," wrote a Twitter user calling herself Mellany Monroy.

"They need to look into this so it does not happen again, how horrible! I don't know how the laws are there but sure, protest!" Facebook user Nicole Vessell wrote on the father's page.

Mr Mar Tan, a registered nurse and an official of the health department's health facilities and services bureau, said he was aware of the public outrage but said there has been no complaint filed with the ministry.

The nurse said: "Crying is a baby's way of coping. If he's having problems breathing through the nose and you cover his mouth, he could suffocate."