August 9, 2017: A woman who accidentally suffocated her newborn baby is suing Portland Adventist Medical Center for $8.6 million.
The Oregonian reports that Monica Thompson blames the medical center for giving her the baby to breastfeed in the middle of the night unsupervised while she was heavily medicated. She reportedly dozed off and then woke up later only to discover that her baby was not breathing.
The mother is said to have carried her son, Jacob, to the hallway and frantically called for help when she noticed he was not moving.
Jacob reportedly suffered catastrophic brain damage from suffocation and died six days later when family took him off life support following the news that his comatose state was irreversible.
The incident took place on August 6, 2012 and the mother filed suit last week in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
The suit seeks damages for baby Jacob’s “desperation and anxiety” as he was suffocated and his mother’s “severe emotional distress upon unintentionally killing her firstborn child.”
In addition, the suit seeks compensation for Monica Thompson’s counseling expenses. She is receiving treatment for post traumatic stress disorder and depression.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against mothers and babies sharing beds. Data from a 2014 study in the Journal of Perinatology reported the deaths of 15 healthy infants in the US while sharing beds with their mothers.