• Today is: Thursday, July 18, 2019

Magee-Womens Hospital uses digital database for newborn footprints

Kristine Sorensen
July10/ 2019

Parents still take home the image but this is adding a layer of security and fun.

Two-day-old Maria Dalfonso is already described as “sassy” and her parents Kelly and Joe can’t take their eyes off her.

When they learned her footprint would be scanned and stored for her lifetime, they weren’t surprised.

“We expect everything to be technological, like my husband was like, ‘How can you not have a device of policy exactly when she’s going to come?’” Kelly asked.

Obviously, that was a joke, but digital footprints are not.

Nurses scan the baby’s footprint and can immediately see the result in the computer and can redo it if it’s not perfect.

Maribeth McLaughlin is the Vice President of Operations at Magee and a nurse.

“So, in prior to that, what we would do is, traditionally, you have to ink the baby’s feet, and then you have to press it to paper and it can be messy, it can smudge and it can fade over time,” she said.

Since footprint patterns never change, the scan can always be used to identify a child.

It will be stored in the database for missing and exploited children, should a child ever disappear or need to be identified in the case of a natural disaster.

“I think you hope that never happens,” said Kelly Dalfonso. “But to remember that, you know, as being a tool that if it ever did, that would be fantastic.”

With the digital footprint, parents now can get creative and Kelly and Joe can’t wait to show off Maria’s adorable little feet.

“I think that will really be neat too because we can make gifts for people and share her with everybody,” Kelly said.

Kristine Sorensen

I am proud to work at KDKA-TV -- anchoring the news, hosting Pittsburgh Today Live and doing special reports. I am married to KDKA reporter Marty Griffin and we have 3 children. I first moved to Pittsburgh in 1999 but I’ve lived in Dallas, Johnson City, Tenn., Chicago, Williamsburg, Va., Milwaukee and Winter Park, Fla. Pittsburgh is now the place I call home.

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