Minnesota hospital says it mishandled stillborn's body

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota hospital apologized Wednesday for mishandling a stillborn baby whose body was found in hospital linens that had been sent to a laundry service.

Regions Hospital officials said the body found in a sheet by a laundry service employee was that of a baby who was stillborn at 22 weeks development. In a statement, the hospital said the remains had been wrapped in linens in its morgue and were mistaken for laundry that was to be sent out for cleaning.

The hospital said it was notifying the family to apologize, and was offering support and counseling to employees of the laundry service.

"This was a terrible mistake, and we are deeply sorry," Chris Boese, the hospital's chief nursing officer, said in the statement. "We have processes in place that should have prevented this but did not. We are working to identify the gap in our system, and to make sure this does not happen again."

The body was found Tuesday when it tumbled out of a bed sheet at Crothall Laundry in Red Wing, about 55 miles southeast of St. Paul, according to Red Wing Police Chief Roger Pohlman. Laundry employees called Regions Hospital, which immediately sent workers to collect the remains.

The Ramsey County medical examiner's office is expected to examine the remains.