First time mother, 42, accidentally smothers her newborn son after nurses put the baby in her hospital bed while she was still groggy from taking Vicodin and Ambien after her C-section
- Monica Thompson, 42, is suing Portland Adventist Medical Center for her son Jacob's 2012 death¬†
- Jacob died when he was 10 days old when his parents turned off his life support
- Three days after being born, he suffocated under his mother while she slept¬†
- Nurses had put him in to her bed to be breastfed in the middle of the night
- The new mother said she was still 'groggy' and 'drowsy' from painkillers at the time
- She fell asleep and woke up an hour later to find her son unconscious¬†in her arms
- Mrs Thompson is suing the hospital for $8million claiming negligence¬†
A first time mother who smothered her newborn son when she was asleep is suing the hospital whose nurses put him in her bed to breastfeed even though she was still 'groggy' from taking Vicodin and Ambien after delivering him via C-section.
Monica Thompson, 42, gave birth to her son Jacob on August 2, 2012, at Portland Adventist Medical Center in Portland, Oregon.¬†
Three days later, while she was still recovering from the procedure and being treated with strong pain medication, nurses brought the boy in to her bed in the middle of the night to be breastfed.¬†
They left the pair alone with Jacob in the bed and she fell asleep. An hour later, she awoke to find him unresponsive in her arms.¬†
Monica Thompson is suing the hospital where her son Jacob suffocated under her in 2012 for leaving her alone with him while she was drowsy. She is pictured with the baby and her husband Graham before they turned off ¬†his life support
He died seven days later when his mother and father Graham turned off his life support. ¬†The baby had suffered severe brain damage due to a lack of oxygen to his body.
Mrs Thompson is now suing the hospital for $8million.¬†
She has accused staff of being negligent by first giving the baby to her to breastfeed when she was under the influence of such strong pain medication and for also leaving her alone with him when she was in such a drowsy state.¬†
In court documents obtained by DailyMail.com, her lawyer described how she was given a 'combination of narcotic painkillers and sleep aids' to allow her to sleep on August 5, three days after she gave birth.¬†
At 3am, an unnamed nurse brought Jacob into her room to be breastfed, the lawsuit claims.¬†
Jacob died when he was 10 days old. Three days after his birth, nurses at the hospital took him in to his mother's room in the middle of the night to be breastfed
His mother has accused Advent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, of negligence and is suing the hospital for $8million¬†
'[The nurse] put Jacob next to his mother in her bed so that she could breastfeed him. [They] left the room and left mother and son unattended,' it claims.¬†
'About an hour later, still groggy and drowsy, Mrs Thompson noticed her son unresponsive in her arms.'¬†
Worried, she tried a number of ways to wake the baby up.¬†
'She tried to stimulate her son's suckling reflexes without success. She touched his eyes and got no response. She poked him and talked to him with no reaction.¬†
'She called for a nurse while she tried to get him to respond,' her lawyer wrote.¬†
When no one came to her room, she then carried the limp baby out into the hospital corridor and 'frantically' cried for help, the lawsuit said.¬†
'A nurse noticed the situation, examined Jacob and called a Code Blue; Jacob was not breathing,' it said.
Jacob suffered severe and permanent brain damage as a result of the suffocation. He spent six days in a coma before having his life support switched off. He is pictured before the suffocation¬†
The boy was taken away to be worked on by doctors and the mother was forced to return to her room and wait for news, her lawyer said.¬†
Jacob was stabilized but never regained consciousness. He was taken to a children's hospital and was placed in the neonatal intensive care unit.
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'.¬†
BREASTFEEDING ON VICODIN¬†
Doctors have long warned new mothers against breastfeeding while under the influence of strong painkillers, namely opioids.¬†
Vicodin is the brand name given to Hydrocodone. It is a strong medication which can be deadly for adults if mixed with alcohol or taken in high doses.¬†
It can be passed down in small doses through breast milk and has been known to make infants drowsy and groggy.¬†
Doctors say that new mothers should try over the counter painkillers first if they wish to continue breastfeeding.¬†
In 2011, a study claimed that it may be safe for mothers to nurse while under the influence of hydrocodone but only if they stick to less than 30mgs.¬†
In 2014, a South Carolina woman was accused of killing her baby by breastfeeding after snorting the drug.¬†
Ambien, the brand name for the sedative Zolpidem, cannot be passed on to a baby through breast milk.¬†
It is not advisable to take the sedative before breastfeeding because of the powerful drowsiness it brings on.¬†
On August 12, 10 days after she had given birth, Mr and Mrs Thompson followed doctors' advice and turned off his life support.¬†
Mrs Thompson's lawsuit is filed not just on her behalf but also on the behalf of her late son.¬†
She claims the hospital caused him harm by giving his mother such strong pain medication when she was going to have to breastfeed him.¬†
She also claims it was negligent by leaving him in the bed with her alone when she was drowsy and by not monitoring them for an hour.¬†
'Jacob suffocated under his mother while she was under the influence of narcotics and sleep aids. His inability to breath caused him desperation and anxiety.¬†
'His breathing eventually stopped. ¬†His pulse was weak or absent.'¬†
When doctors performed CPR on the baby, they broke his ribs which 'can cause substantial pain,' the lawsuit said.
Mrs Thompson believes the hospital owes his estate $3million in damages as a result.¬†
She claims she is owed a further $8million personally, saying the hospital has 'directly caused her severe emotional distress, severe depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, severe anxiety and prolonged grief disorder'.¬†
She is asking for an additional $100,000 to pay for medical and counselling expenses.¬†
Portland Adventist Medical Center did not respond to questions on Thursday morning.
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