Medicine

OR mother who mistakenly suffocated newborn sues hospital for $8.6 million

OR mother who mistakenly suffocated newborn sues hospital for $8.6 million

An Oregon woman is suing the hospital where she gave birth to her first child after medical staff allegedly drugged her up and brought her newborn son to her for a breastfeeding while she was extremely groggy.

Monica Thompson, 42, argues that she was still "groggy" from her C-section three days before her son Jacob was placed in her care at Portland Adventist Medical Center in OR on August 2, 2012.

But just four days after Jacob was born, the new mother accidentally smothered the child in her hospital bed, 7 News reports.

On the night of August 6, a nurse gave Thompson the baby at around 3am for breastfeeding and left the new mum unsupervised.

About an hour later, the breastfeeding mother was 'still drowsy and groggy' when she realized her son had stopped moving.

A nurse saw her and called a Code Blue because Jacob was not breathing.

She talked to him, to try to get him to wake up.

"She called for a nurse while she tried to get him to respond", the suit said. When doctors there determined he'd suffered catastrophic brain damage and would not regain consciousness, he was removed from life support, according to Conde.

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The Thompson family. Image credit: Facebook / Yahoo!"A hospital doesn't get to load a breastfeeding mother with narcotics and sleep aids, drop a newborn child on the same bed to breastfeed, and abandon them to their luck", said Diego Conde, Thompson's attorney, according to CNN.

The suit also says that when the doctors performed CPR on Jacob, they broke his ribs which can "cause substantial pain".

He died six days later.

After drifting off, she awoke to find the infant unresponsive. Mrs. Thompson tried to stimulate her son's suckling reflexes without success. But Thompson says in the lawsuit that the baby was put there in the middle of the night, while she was heavily medicated.

Kristi Spurgeon Johnson, a spokeswoman for Portland Adventist Medical Center, said Wednesday she couldn't comment on the lawsuit until the hospital has had a chance to review it.

The suit seeks more than $8 million for the baby's distress, Thompson's emotional distress and counseling. "Adventist Medical Center is committed to providing quality, compassionate care to all of our patients".

About 3,500 babies die each year in the United States because of "unsafe sleep environments", such as suffocation or strangulation; some die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

He was transferred to the NICU of a different hospital and spent six days on life support before Thompson and her husband, Graham, made the hard decision to terminate his life support at the recommendation of doctors, the complaint notes.


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