Mom suing nurse after suffocation accident - page 4

This Mother Is Suing a Hospital for Millions After She Accidentally Killed Her Son... Read More

  1. by   klone
    Makawake - your post was really long with lots of questions, so I'm not going to quote it, but I will try to answer your questions.

    I am only speaking to my facility, but we give Ibuprofen q6h as an ordered, scheduled medication to all postpartum women. Post C/S women are also ordered Percocet 1-2 tabs PRN q4h. Some women don't take it, most do. For post-vaginal deliveries, we don't typically have ordered narcotics, but if she's a grand multip, the uterine involution can be INCREDIBLY painful, so sometimes we do. The providers will take that on a case by case basis.

    I see a sleep aid prescribed VERY rarely, but I have seen it on occasion. Typically we will try Benadryl before going for the big guns. I agree with another poster who posted after you, who said that s/he suspected that it was the Ambien that was the biggest culprit in this case. The narcotics and Ambien were given 4 hours before the death occurred - most of the narcotics would have been out of her system by that time, but the Ambien would have still been on board. I think this tragedy may not have happened if it weren't for the Ambien. But we'll never know, I guess.

    Regarding opiates and breastfeeding - in the first several days postpartum, total milk volume is extremely small, therefore, the absolute amount of opiate that the infant is getting truly is negligible. In general, other than the possibility of some sleepiness in the infant, there have been no effects in the infant from short-term opiate use. Longterm use should be avoided when breastfeeding. The best source for lactation and drug safety is Hale and InfantRisk.
  2. by   Emergent
    I don't think the point is whether the woman should or shouldn't have had an Ambien. I personally never took anything for childbirth or afterwards and put up with the pain. But let's face it it's a stressful transition And a lot of women do want pain medicine.

    In that case, the policy should be that will be a support person to mind the baby, and that the woman not take the baby in bed with her while she's alone in the room. That sounds like common sense and not overreaching regulation. After childbirth is a vulnerable time for both baby and mom and mothers need help and support.

    Rooming in is a great thing but that doesn't mean that it should let healthcare workers off the hook. The rules should be spelled out to the patient and her family, just like the hospital won't release the pair unless there is a properly installed car seat.
  3. by   RNrhythm
    Quote from macawake
    ...glad that I live and work in a country where healthcare professionals aren't sued.
    Here in the USA, everything we do is colored by fear of litigation: The words we use, our procedures, and especially our documentation.
  4. by   klone
    Quote from Emergent
    I don't think the point is whether the woman should or shouldn't have had an Ambien. I personally never took anything for childbirth or afterwards and put up with the pain. But let's face it it's a stressful transition And a lot of women do want pain medicine.

    In that case, the policy should be that will be a support person to mind the baby, and that the woman not take the baby in bed with her while she's alone in the room. That sounds like common sense and not overreaching regulation. After childbirth is a vulnerable time for both baby and mom and mothers need help and support.

    Rooming in is a great thing but that doesn't mean that it should let healthcare workers off the hook. The rules should be spelled out to the patient and her family, just like the hospital won't release the pair unless there is a properly installed car seat.
    First, Ambien is not a pain medication. Yes, I *do* think it's relevant that she was given Ambien, on top of regular narcotic medication. It's not a regular occurrence.

    We discourage cosleeping. Strongly. However, it's entirely reasonable for a woman to breastfeed her baby while sitting up in bed. I think at 4am, it's a hardship to expect the woman, who has just had major abdominal surgery, to get up out of bed and move to a chair in order to breastfeed. So it's not at all unusual for a nurse to bring the baby into the mom's room, help her sit up in bed, and then hand the baby to her while she's in bed in order to breastfeed.

    Many women do not have the luxury of having a partner/spouse with her 24/7, either in the hospital or at home. Is it reasonable to say that we cannot leave a mother alone with her newborn?
  5. by   Union-Jack
    I understand that financial penalty (for the hospital) hits where it hurts, which is why people sue. And I also understand the parents wish to hold the hospital/nurse accountable. However, I often wonder how people awarded these enormous monetary payouts can spend that money and live in relative luxury, all the while knowing what got them to that place.

    Maybe I'm being cynical, but I cannot imagine losing a child (or any loved one) and then feel comfortable purchasing new cars, homes, and the like on the windfall. Every penny would remind me of how I had gotten that money, and would be abhorrent to me.
  6. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from That Guy
    didn't need money until now.
    Really, man, what a terrible thing to say. You know nothing about her money situation, you apparently have never lost a child. What would you do - thank the nurse?
  7. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from macawake
    Losing a child is such an unimaginable tragedy and my heart goes out to any parent who has had to experience such a devastating loss.

    I can definitely understand suing if you want to have someone accept responsibility/accountability and to acknowledge wrongdoing (if it took place) and I can also understand wanting to be compensated for the of cost bereavement counselling, loss of wages due to being unable to work during a period of time and for other necessary care/support that follows in the wake of such a tragedy. However seeing that someone is suing for almost double-digit millions (which is an insane amount of money) makes me glad that I live and work in a country where healthcare professionals aren't sued. Here, a patient can definitely report licensed healthcare professionals to the licensing and oversight authority but you can't sue or be sued for zillions.

    I can't help it, when I hear of cases similar to this one, the large amount of money makes it seem slightly mercenary to me. You can't assign a dollar value to a human life and attempting to do so in fact has the opposite effect on me. To me, it devalues life when it's viewed in terms of a windfall.

    What makes it even more unappealing to me is that if I understand this correctly, a rather large percentage of a potential settlement goes to the lawyers? If I got that part right, it serves as a powerful incentive to file even more big $ law suits (compared to if the legal team were paid a more modest fixed fee).

    On a societal scale, the prevalence of law suits in the healthcare industry is bound to ultimately increase the cost of healthcare. I think it's quite unfortunate. Frankly, I think it's a sick system.
    If she wins, the losers will appeal. Whatever she is awarded will be knocked down significantly on appeal.

    If a surgeon cuts off the wrong leg and then must also remove the good one, when nurses or other staff are negligent, what happens to their victims in your country? How will the now bilateral amputee get the care and equipment he needs? Do you folks not acknowledge pain and suffering or diminished quality of life? Not criticizing, just asking. Thanks.
  8. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    I'm wondering why it took her five years to file the suit.
    It might not have. Maybe she filed some time ago and we're just now hearing about it. Seems the statutes of limitations to file would have been only 1 - 3 years in US. Don't know for sure.

    I feel so badly for all involved.
  9. by   LovingLife123
    Quote from Zyprexa
    That was my first thought as well. Mom kills baby, later blames nurse and sues because she needs cash. People are terrible like that.

    Also, why are postpartum moms getting narcotics around the clock??? I get that labor is painful, but can people not tolerate pain anymore or something? Give mom some tylenol and a heating pad.

    Have you had a kid? It's downright painful. Especially after a csection.
  10. by   LovingLife123
    I think this comes down to hospitals not having nurseries anymore and not allowing the mom to properly recover. We put the baby in the room at all times.

    Back when I had my children, at night the baby went to the nursery and they fed them, unless I asked for them to stay with me. I was given ambien and pain meds and was told by the nurses, Oh honey, you need your rest. You will not be getting any sleep once you get home. Let us take the baby. And I did. Recovering from a csection is hard.

    Now, you don't get any choice. Moms are told the baby is with you at all times, you feed it and do all the care. Never mind they may have just been through 36 hours of a hard labor and are completely exhausted. They may not be mentally all there to care for that baby right then. I feel that we should let mom's recover. Hospital stays are much shorter now and they can be sleep deprived soon enough.
  11. by   LovingLife123
    Quote from blondy2061h
    Is it normal to still need atc opiates 3 days post op from a C section?

    Yes, it is. It's a major abdominal surgery. How do people not know this? This isn't a laporoscopy, your abdomen is cut through and opened. And many women who give birth vaginally have terrible tearing.

    98% of the time I think lawsuits are bogus and I trust that the medical staff did all they could. And while I don't necessarily think the nurse was negligent, the way this system is nowdays in labor and delivery, it's set up for a tragedy like this to happen. I don't think this is a bogus lawsuit. This was a horrible tragedy. A mom waits almost 10 months to meet and hold her child. Then, this happens. Who is responsible for that? We should be allowing women time to recover from giving birth.
  12. by   klone
    Quote from Kooky Korky
    It might not have. Maybe she filed some time ago and we're just now hearing about it. Seems the statutes of limitations to file would have been only 1 - 3 years in US. Don't know for sure.

    I feel so badly for all involved.
    Statute of limitations on anything related to childbirth is either 18 or 20 years. The article stated that she didn't file suit until a few weeks ago, after "someone" (presumably an attorney) looked over all the documentation.

    Most likely what will happen is the hospital will settle. I would be very surprised if the case ever saw a courtroom.
  13. by   klone
    Quote from LovingLife123
    I think this comes down to hospitals not having nurseries anymore and not allowing the mom to properly recover. We put the baby in the room at all times.
    Except that that was not at all the case in this situation. The hospital had the baby in the nursery while the mom slept. Sounds like the baby was in the nursery for nearly four hours. The nurse brought the baby out to mom to breastfeed. If a woman is breastfeeding, that's what you have to do.

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