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Published April 19, 2013, 06:58 PM

2nd stillborn's remains may have gone to Minnesota laundry

A Minnesota hospital said Friday that the remains of a second stillborn baby may have been sent to a laundry service that discovered one set of remains earlier this week.

By: Amy Forliti, Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota hospital said Friday that the remains of a second stillborn baby may have been sent to a laundry service that discovered one set of remains earlier this week.

Regions Hospital of St. Paul said it believes the second set of remains were in the same basket of linens that held the remains of the 22 week gestational age stillborn discovered Tuesday by workers at a laundry service in Red Wing.

The hospital announced Friday that the remains of a stillborn at 19 weeks gestational age were also in the same basket of linens.

"As we investigated, our records indicated that there should have been another set of remains in the same location," said Chris Boese, chief nursing officer. "We have now ruled out that those remains went to the funeral home or to another location."

Boese added: "A tragic human error was made and we believe both sets of remains were mistaken as empty linens and placed in the laundry at the same time by a hospital worker."

Hospital CEO Brock Nelson said there were no words to describe how "deeply saddened we are and how sorry we are for this terrible mistake."

"Words are not adequate. We have reached the family to apologize and offer any support that we can," Nelson added in a statement.

The hospital said it is investigating and has taken steps to ensure this doesn't happen again.

On Wednesday, officials from Regions Hospital said the remains of a stillborn baby boy had been wrapped in linens in the hospital morgue and somehow were mistaken for laundry that was supposed to be sent out for cleaning.

Regions Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in the Twin Cities, handles about 2,500 births every year, and about 20 to 25 of the infants are stillborn, Boese said. Families of those infants are given the choice of making their own arrangements or allowing the hospital to work with community groups that take care of the burial or cremation.

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