Woman sues hospital after newborn death: Baby suffocated in bed after breastfeeding

Mrs Thompson and her partner are suing the hospital. Source Google Maps

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.

In a lawsuit filed last week, Monica Thompson said a nurse brought her son Jacob to her hospital bed at Portland Adventist Medical Center to breastfeed in the early hours of August 6, 2012. The nurse allegedly left mother and son unattended, even though Ms. Thompson was medicated on narcotic painkillers and sleep aids.

About an hour later, Monica - who says she was still groggy and drowsy - noticed her son was unresponsive.

"She called for a nurse while she tried to get him to respond", the suit stated. ". She poked him and talked to him with no reaction".

"When no nurse came to help, Mrs. Thompson carried her son to the hallway and frantically yelled for help", states the lawsuit.

Doctors at that hospital concluded through a series of tests that he had suffered severe hypoxia, a lack of oxygen to the body's tissue, and said his brain was "severely and permanently damaged".

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

The lawsuit, which further alleges negligence on the part of the hospital for not having clear policies on the matter, seeks damages for the baby's "desperation and anxiety" while he was suffocated and for his mother's 'severe emotional distress upon unintentionally killing her firstborn child'. The suit also seeks compensation for Monica Thompson's counseling expenses for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of both Monica Thompson and baby Jacob also stated the newborn may have been subjected to substantial pain when his ribs were broken while CPR was being administered at the Portland Adventist Medical Center.

"Adventist Medical Center is committed to providing quality, compassionate care to all of our patients", she said in a statement.

"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". She said they were unable to provide any additional information at the time. Thompson drifted off, and when she woke up, Jacob was unresponsive.

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.

Doctors say newborns who share a bed with their parents are at risk of dying because parents can roll on top of them, or the babies can get trapped in blankets or sheets.

The tot was brought into the new mum's room in the middle of the night to be breastfed and the pair were left alone with no supervision.

Related News: