Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

New mother sues hospital after suffocating baby

New mother sues hospital after suffocating baby

A first-time mom accidentally smothered her newborn son after a nurse put him in the hospital bed with her to breastfeed while she was "groggy" from her c-section and on two strong pain medications.

The family is now seeking $US8 million in damages from the Portland Adventist Medical Center over Jacob's death, described by Ms Thompson's lawyer Diego Conde as "senseless".

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

Since the death of her son Monica Thompson has given birth to a daughter. She says she is sharing her story
Oregon mother who mistakenly suffocated newborn sues hospital for $8.6 million

"She called for a nurse while she tried to get him to respond", her lawsuit claims. When she touched his eyes, talked to him, and poked him, she did not get a response, according to the lawsuit against the hospital. "When no nurse came to help, Mrs. Thompson carried her son to the hallway and frantically yelled for help".

Doctors said baby Jacob suffered a catastrophic brain injury from lack of oxygen. She also declined to comment on the hospital's policy regarding newborns sharing beds with their mothers, per The Oregonian's report.

Thompson's $8 million lawsuit against the Portland hospital also maintains the staff "directly caused her severe emotional distress, severe depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, severe anxiety and prolonged grief disorder".

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After drifting off, she awoke to find the infant unresponsive.

"This was a tragic event and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family", Portland Adventist Medical Center said in a statement.

Adding, 'My firstborn and only son.

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Though Jacob was stabilized, he never regained consciousness and put on life support in the neonatal intensive care unit.

The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that about 3,500 babies die each year in the United States due to unsafe sleep environments, such as strangulation or suffocation, or from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The lawsuit says the hospital gave Thompson "a combination of narcotic pain killers and sleep aids" at around midnight, and then brought Jacob back in three hours later so Thompson could breastfeed him. "I am sharing our story in the hopes that no mother or family will ever have to suffer through a preventable tragedy such as this", the Thompson family said in a statement. Baby Jacob died a week later when Monica and her husband, the newborn's father, Graham Thompson, made the decision to turn off his life support system.

In a 2016 report, the pediatric association noted that evidence shows skin-to-skin care (SSC) and "rooming-in" helps foster breast-feeding and mother-child bonding - but said the practices may also "pose safety concerns, particularly with regard to sleep". [They] left the room and left mother and son unattended.

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