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Mum sues hospital after accidentally smothering newborn

Monica Thompson says she accidentally smothered her newborn son Jacob when she was medicated after a C-section. Photo: Supplied.
Monica Thompson says she accidentally smothered her newborn son Jacob when she was medicated after a C-section. Photo: Supplied.

A BREASTFEEDING mother who accidentally smothered her newborn baby while drowsy on a cocktail of painkillers is suing the hospital for millions of dollars.

Monica Thompson, 42, says she was "still drowsy and groggy" from drugs given to her three days after her C-section when her tiny son Jacob was brought into her hospital room in the middle of the night to breastfeed in August 2012.

Left alone without supervision, she claims she woke up some time later with the infant unresponsive in her arms, according to a heart-rending lawsuit filed by the Thompsons.

She tried to wake him and called for a nurse.

"When no nurse came to help, Mrs Thompson carried her son to the hallway and frantically yelled for help," according to the lawsuit, published by The Washington Post.

"A nurse noticed the situation, examined Jacob and called a Code Blue."

Medical staff performed "painful" CPR on Jacob, but he'd been starved of oxygen for too long and suffered permanent brain damage, according to lawyers.

He died six days later.

The family is now seeking $US8 million in damages from the Portland Adventist Medical Center over Jacob's death, described by Ms Thompson's lawyer Diego Conde as "senseless".

"A hospital doesn't get to load a breastfeeding mother with narcotics and sleep aids, drop a newborn child on the same bed to breastfeed, and abandon them to their luck," Conde was reported as saying.

"Jacob was a true miracle baby. My firstborn and only son. 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," the Thompson family said in a statement.

Thompson is seeking over $US2million for her son's estate and over $US6million for the "severe emotional distress" she has suffered.

Topics:  america editors picks motherhood parenting

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