madrid. Spanish health officials say the exchange of two babies in a maternity hospital nearly 20 years ago was caused by human error. This fact came to the fore when a teenager accidentally found out by DNA test that she was not the daughter of her alleged parents.
“It was a human error and we haven’t been able to conclude who it was,” Sara Alba, the health chief of La Rioja’s northern region, told a news conference on Tuesday.
“The systems used earlier were different and not as computerized as now,” Alba said, and assured that this would not happen again.
The exchange took place in 2002 when the girls were born in a hospital in La Rioja over the span of five hours. They were both in the incubators because their weight was below normal.
The now 19-year-old woman, who learned she had been handed over to people who were not her parents, has sued local authorities for $3.5 million.
Alba spoke after the local newspaper La Rioja published a note about the incident.
The paper said the mistake was reported to another woman. Nor was it recognized.