Health

Mom Accidentally Smothers Newborn To Death

| by Sheena Vasani
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An Oregon mother who accidentally smothered her baby to death is suing the hospital for more than $8 million.

Baby Jacob died after hospital workers put the baby in Monica Thompson's arms while she was under the influence of strong pain medications, reports The Oregonian.

Now Thompson, 42, is suing Portland Adventist Medical Center for negligence and more.

Thompson gave birth to her son, Jacob, on Aug. 2, 2012 via cesarean section.

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Three days later, she was still in recovery and under the influence of painkiller Vicodin and sleep aid Ambien when nurses brought the baby to her bed at 3 a.m. for so she could breastfeed, the lawsuit says.

They then allegedly left the baby and drowsy mother unattended.

Thompson drifted off to sleep, but an hour later, she says she woke up to find the infant was unresponsive.

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"She poked him and talked to him with no reaction," reads the lawsuit. "When no nurse came to help, Mrs. Thompson carried her son to the hallway and frantically yelled for help."

A nurse later arrived and called a "code blue" as Jacob was not breathing, the suit says.

Seven days later, the baby died. Jacob had suffered brain damage due to lack of oxygen and his parents had to turn off his life support because he was in an irreversible comatose state.

Thompson is now suing the hospital for $8.6 million.

In addition to accusing it of negligence, she is also suing the hospital on her son's behalf.

When doctors performed CPR on Jacob, they allegedly broke his ribs which "can cause substantial pain."

"Jacob suffocated under his mother while she was under the influence of narcotics and sleep aids," the lawsuit reads. "His inability to [breathe] caused him desperation and anxiety. His breathing eventually stopped. His pulse was weak or absent."

The lawsuit also contends the hospital "directly caused her severe emotional distress, severe depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, severe anxiety and prolonged grief disorder."

Many were outraged upon learning the news and supported the mother's lawsuit.

"The hospital staff was totally irresponsible for giving the mother Vicodin AND Ambien at the same time," wrote one Daily Mail reader. "Certainly those drugs would be in the mother's milk. Malpractice at its best."

Others aren't convinced the hospital is entirely to blame.

"I had 3 c-sections, and I remember being up on my feet within 20-40 hours after the procedure," added another. "I don't believe it's 100% the hospital's fault, when nurse brings your baby, you can always refuse and tell them to place the infant in their crib that is next to your bed. There is also a button next to you, which you can just press to alert the nurse you need immediate assistance, so if she was too tired to breastfeed before falling asleep, she could've called the nurse."

Sources: The Oregonian, Circuit Court Of The State Of Oregon LawsuitDaily Mail / Featured Image: Evan-Amos/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Freakinout/Wikimedia Commons, M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia Commons

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