A 2nd stillborn's remains may have been sent off to a laundry service by Regions Hospital of St Paul in Minnesota, according to distressing reports out this week.
An announcement was made on Friday by the hospital that has blamed the incident on human error and apologized for the distress the news has caused.
Three days earlier another stillborn's remains were found by a worker at the hospital in the laundry service of the Red Wing at the hospital. The stillborn baby was a 22 week gestation baby.
The second stillborn is said to have been a 19 week gestation baby, and is still unaccounted for.
Chris Boese, the hospital's chief nursing officer, stated of the issue: "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 has also said, "All of us are accountable. There was no foul play involved here."
The employee who put the stillborns' remains in the hospital's dirty laundry has not yet been identified, but is the subject of ongoing investigations. The hospital has said that it will continue with its investigations and that it would take full responsibility for the incidents.
Regions hospital handles roughly 2,500 births per year, and out of those it is believed about 20 to 25 are stillborn.
According to policy, the families of the stillborns can either make their own arrangements or if too distressing they can opt to give permission to the hospital to work with community groups to take care of the burial or cremation of the infant's remains.
Boese has also said, "We have searched everywhere. We have checked into everything. It unfortunately may be that we just will not know what happened with the remains."
Boese reassured that the hospital has now accounted for all other stillborns.
Here is a video report into the first stillborn found in the laundry at Regions Hospital: