Mom who accidentally suffocated newborn in hospital bed sues for $8.6 million

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

A first-time mother in Portland is suing the hospital she gave birth in for $8.6 million, saying they left the newborn with her unattended after giving her pain killers and sleep aids.

Oregon Live reports that Monica Thompson, 42, gave birth to her son Jacob in on August 2, 2012 at the Portland Adventist Medical Center.

Instead of going home in a few days with his mother and father, baby Jacob was admitted to a children's hospital and placed in a neonatal intensive care unit.

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.

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

She also claims that after trying to revive her son, no nurses responded to her calls for help leaving the distressed mum to carry the child into the hospital corridor and "frantically" cry for help.

Doctors concluded he suffered severe hypoxia and that the brain was "severely and permanently damaged".

Thompson "unintentionally suffocated her baby boy, causing him severe and permanent brain damage", according to the lawsuit.

"Jacob was a true miracle baby".

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In addition to accusing it of negligence, she is also suing the hospital on her son's behalf. She dozed off and woke to find her son wasn't breathing.

Portland Adventist Medical Center spokeswoman Kristi Spurgeon Johnson called the situation "tragic" and added that their thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Thompsons.

Monica Thompson says nurses were negligent in allowing her to breastfeed her four-day-old baby, Jacob, while sedated and without supervision.

Thompson is seeking over $US2million for her son's estate and over $US6million for the "severe emotional distress" she has suffered. The lawsuit also seeks compensation for Thompson's counseling expenses for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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

Tragically Jacob's death came after the Thompsons struggled with infertility for 12 years before they became pregnant with Jacob in 2012. "We are reviewing the claims being made and we are unable to provide any additional information at this time".

The American Academy of Pediatrics has previously recommended infants should not sleep in the same bed with parents, due to the risk the child could be smothered under an adult's shifting weight.

The lawsuit paints a disturbing picture of the mother trying to rouse her baby.

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