Newborn Dies After Suffocating in Hospital Bed, Mom Sues Nurse

An Oregon woman is suing a nurse and hospital for negligence after her newborn son was smothered in her hospital bed.

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 Aug. 6, 2012. The nurse placed the newborn next to Thompson in the bed and left them unattended, the lawsuit obtained by Oregon Live states. About three hours earlier, Thompson, who had a Caesarean section, was given narcotic painkillers and sleep aids, the suit says. 

An hour later, Thompson noticed her son wasn't responsive and called for a nurse. The lawsuit says no nurse immediately came to help; so, Thompson carried her son into the hallway, where she got the attention of a nurse. 

Jacob wasn't breathing and was placed on life support.  Jacob, who was Monica's first child, died on Aug. 12, 2012. He was 10-days old. 

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The suit seeks more than $8 million for the baby's distress, Thompson's emotional distress and counseling. 

“This was a tragic event and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family," the hospital said in a statement. "Adventist Medical Center is committed to providing quality, compassionate care to all of our patients. We are reviewing the claims being made and we are unable to provide any additional information at this time.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics says babies should never share a bed with parents, and no pillows, sheets, blankets or other items should be in a baby's bed. Adventist Health has also shared this message, noting bed-sharing is linked with sleep-related deaths in babies in an advisory earlier this year. 

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