DOH will investigate alleged taping of infant’s lips

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Monday, May 12, 2014

CEBU CITY - The Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas will investigate the incident at the Cebu Puericulture Center and Maternity House (CPMH) where a nurse allegedly placed a medical adhesive tape on the lips of an infant.

DOH 7 Director Jaime Bernadas said he organized a fact-finding team, led by Dr. Sophia Mancao, to investigate the incident even though the parents of the baby—Ryan Noval and Jasmine Badocdoc—have not yet filed a complaint.

Bernadas said the DOH 7 wants to determine how CPMH handled the issue, including why they allowed the use of pacifiers to calm down babies.


He said pacifiers should not be used on newborns because these objects may be a source of contamination.


An earlier report said a nurse at CPMH placed a medical adhesive tape to prevent the pacifier given to the baby from falling off. A photo of the taped lips of Noval’s baby was posted on Facebook over the weekend.

Dr. Raida Varona, CPMH medical director, said they will investigate the alleged incident, including nurses who were on duty at that time. She declined to tell the press how many personnel will be investigated.

Cebu Puericulture and Maternity House board
SILENCED LAMB. The Cebu Puericulture and Maternity House board, which Florencia Streegan (fourth from left) leads, will investigate an allegation that a nurse of their facility put a medical adhesive tape on a newborn to keep him from crying.(SUN.STAR FOTO/AMPER CAMPAÑA)

If the charge is proven true, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said the nurse should be dismissed from the service. He said the hospital administration should not give the nurse another chance.

Grace Yana of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 told radio dyLA that putting an adhesive tape on the baby's mouth is tantamount to child abuse and violates Republic Act 7610, or the Anti-Child Abuse Law.

She said the DSWD, along with the DOH and the PNP, can conduct an investigation on the incident as part of their mandate being members of the Regional Subcommittee for the Welfare of Children.

Varona urged the parents of the baby to coordinate with them during the investigation.

Varona said CPMH does not allow the practice of putting adhesive tape on the mouths of infants in their care.

But Noval said he has yet to hear from CPMH. “The hospital has not released a formal response or contacted us (to give) update on their ‘investigation.’ We are still waiting to hear from them,” Noval said in his Facebook post.

He said he and his common-law wife have no intention of releasing the name nurse who allegedly placed a tape on their son.


Varona said in a separate interview that there is no need for DOH 7 to conduct a separate investigation as the case is an internal matter.

But Bernadas said the DOH 7 has a mandate to ensure that health facilities and their personnel provide quality service. The mayor said the DOH should ensure that similar incidents will not happen.

He said City Hall can extend legal assistance to the parents of the baby if they decide to sue the nurse. “If they come to us for help, we will discuss it,” he added.

He also asked Department of Social Welfare and Services to assist the parents of the baby. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 13, 2014.

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