Mom suing nurse after suffocation accident - page 6

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

  1. by   That Guy
    -EDIT-

    never mind not worth it.
    Last edit by That Guy on Aug 12
  2. by   fmf13
    Quote from Emergent
    I'm surprised at all the negative comments regarding the mother suing. It does sound like negligence. We don't allow people on these drugs to drive home, why would it be considered safe in any place to hand the newborn baby to a mother on drugs in a bed?

    If a mother needs to take opiate pain medicine, then there needs to be a policy that she cannot be laying in bed with her baby, unless there is an adult in the room supervising. This is to protect the child, and no exception should be allowed even if a waiver is signed.
    I am an OB Mother/Baby RN. We do give our C/S moms narcotics 3 day PO, but not all choose to take it. It is very common for moms to still be taking narcotics even after they are discharged. They were afterall, cut open and a baby was removed from the uterus and the uterus is involuting on top of that.

    I don't agree with this being neglect, because, at our facility, when we bring baby in to breastfeed, mom accepts responsibility of infant. I know at my facility, we are required to do 2 hour rounds on nights for PO 3 C/S moms. I would not be surprised if this mother was warned several times throughout her stay about sleeping with the infant. I sometimes have to remind moms several times throughout the night to not sleep with their infants and I usually get a "I am the parent and I will do what I want" or they ignore the warning. All we can do is chart that we warned the mother about sleeping with the infant and that we explained the consequences of continuing to do so.

    Don't get me wrong, I think this is a terrible tragedy and cannot begin to understand what this mom has gone through. At some point though, the mom has to take some responsibility. If the mother felt sleepy, she could have told the nurse that she wanted to sleep and to do a bottle. I know this isn't ideal for some, but it is better than falling asleep and something like this occurring. We aren't going to be with these moms when they go home and routinely they are provided narcotics for home. If this was something she felt uncomfortable with, then she has the responsibility to tell the RN that she would prefer not to have any narcotics, because it makes her too drowsy. At some point, the patient has to speak up about her care. We cannot read the patient's mind.
  3. by   Skippingtowork
    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.
    Rooming in is a great thing, but in reality you have tired mothers who think they know everything and refuse to put the baby back in the bassinet no matter how much you beg to do it for them. An worse, they put a fluffy pillow by the bed rails so the baby does not fall out. When you point out the danger, they dismiss you. And some of the men in the room are absoutely useless, not even wanting to hold the baby or change a diaper, claiming they are too small. I have cared for smothered babies as both a bedside nurse and an NP. The blame cannot be on the nurse or the facility. Sometimes people must suffer the consequences of their poor judgement and refusal to listen to the nurse's advise.

    Lawsuits are often the result of anger. The mother waiting 5 years to sue may be related less to placing blame and more to the fact that the child (if alive) is now quite big and the road ahead is now obviously going to be difficult. It is a matter of survival.

    I vote for bringing back the nursery.
  4. by   DebRN43
    Years ago I worked for an attorney. It can take 2-3 years to just gather information from all defendants in order to see if you even have a lawsuit. This is not an unusual amount of time to pass to file a lawsuit.

    If the mother was sedated and not fully awake, the nurse should not have left the baby alone or should have made sure the mother was awake.

    For the plaintiff to win the lawsuit, they have to prove the nurse was negligent. This can be hard to prove, but with a baby dying they will probably settle out of court.
  5. by   Cococure
    This is a very sad situation overall and I cannot begin to imagine what the mom when through and the guilt the nurse is feeling. I am going to chime in I work on post partum and yes moms do get narcotics for c-sections and vag deliveries...keep in mind the more babies you have the more painful breastfeeding will be for the mom. Also it depends on her lacerations 3rd or 4th degree tear is no joke. With that being said narcotics are given very cautiously and my hospital is designated a baby friendly so we do encourage bonding and breastfeeding. However we do tell the patient that they need a support person to be with them during their stay to help with baby. Does everyone have a support person no? No..but we are careful about giving narcotics. Most hopitals also have a safety policy/pledge that we have to go over and explain to the mom and support person and they have to sign it. We also round on the mothers constantly to make sure everyone is ok ...do patients always like it? No but it's does for safety. As a side story a mom once suffocated her baby while breastfeeding not because she fell asleep but because the room was completely dark and she was on her phone. This mom had large breasts and was advised several times to keep the light on and pay close attention. This was not the patients first child so she felt comfortable and was quite annoyed when staff checked on her. Sadly infant was suffocated and later passed away in the NICU. Everyone was devastated no one wants to lose a child the mom or the nurse. As for sleeps aids yes mom have gotten them in the past on ante partum and rarely on post partum and if they request it...we explain why we don't give sleep aids and most patients are ok only a few are upset. I have worked on a few post partum units and safety aslways comes first. Babies are watched at the nurses station at night if the mom wants to sleep for 1-2hrs and no support person and it's a available and it's a slow night or they go to the nursery if there is one...Sometimes at this point where baby is hungry and is exclusively breastfeeding the parents can make the choice to give 1 bottle so that mom can take her med and rest. If she gets narcotics and breastfeeding the nurses monitors the mothers as much as possible. This is where I am not a fan of the breastfeeding friendly policy and there is no nursery for the babies to go and nurses cannot watch all five couplets constantly...
    Last edit by Cococure on Aug 13
  6. by   Cococure
    Quote from Emergent
    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.
    You are correct on many points but you cannot use yourself as a benchmark. I have had patients who "put up with the pain" only to be in so much pain they couldn't take care of themselves or the baby. I am not advocating for narcotics but if ibuprofen is not working something else will take the edge off. And yes there should be a support person ...they are told about it on the tours, at registration...in L&D and in post partum. Even with the support person they don't realize that they are there to help and just go to sleep. Also the rules are spelled out, they even have to sign an agreement form stating that they understand what we just read aloud and explained to them.i agree we can't be let off the hook but we can't be expected to be with them all night. On my until we have 4-5...sometimes 6 couplets on a crazy day to care for. Also assisting with breastfeeding takes a lot of time and if I am helping one mom I can't leave and rush to another unless it's an emergency. We do have techs and lactation that help but it's not enough of them. I have been doing post partum for years and I get so many parents that refuse to put their babies to sleep in the bassinet. I get the "it's my baby I will do what I want". Some will even drop the baby during the night and not report it until they see the doctor in the morning. I would love to hear the nurses side of the story...maybe there was a super person there ...who knows.

    Just my 2 cents
  7. by   Emergent
    That reminds me of when one of my sons was a newborn in the first week of life. I had a old fashion pram with the spring wheels that was really good for a brand new baby because you could rock it.

    At that time of life I was having waking dreams kind of like sleepwalking where I would briefly hallucinate as I was waking up that there was something happening in the room that wasn't. Very large spiders were theme for a while. I went through a phase where I imagined complicated surveillance equipment coming out of the walls and then going back in. I would come to my senses once I was fully awake.

    My new baby boy was swaddled nicely in the pram because if I heard him stir I could rock him back to sleep if I knew he had already fed.

    It must have been the hormone changes, but I had one of these dreams where there was something very bad in the pram and I ended up knocking it over in one of these states. Of course the baby started screaming and that woke me up totally and I realize what I had done. It was scary. It never happened again and the baby was fine.
  8. by   Boymom1228
    I had my son vaginally so I don't know about c-section pain but why was she still in the hospital on pain meds at 4 days post delivery? Sounds like maybe she was having complications to begin with. I thought typical rules were 1 day for vaginal and 2-3 days for c-section.

    Though I can't imagine her pain (and don't want to), I'm in agreement that there is more to this story!
  9. by   NICURN29
    This has some good information on Sudden Unexpected Postnatal Collapse and how hospitals are dealing with the risk for it.

    http://hospital.nuroobaby.com/wp-con...in-to-Skin.pdf
  10. by   Skippingtowork
    Quote from Boymom1228
    I had my son vaginally so I don't know about c-section pain but why was she still in the hospital on pain meds at 4 days post delivery? Sounds like maybe she was having complications to begin with. I thought typical rules were 1 day for vaginal and 2-3 days for c-section.

    Though I can't imagine her pain (and don't want to), I'm in agreement that there is more to this story!
    4 day stay for c-sections in places I have worked and 2 days for vag deliveries.
  11. by   matcha-cat
    Quote from klone
    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?
    Perhaps not when she's drugged up and at risk of falling asleep and suffocating her baby?
  12. by   klone
    Quote from Stepney
    4 day stay for c-sections in places I have worked and 2 days for vag deliveries.
    I believe, by law, insurance companies must pay for 48 hours for vaginal deliveries and 96 hours for C/S. This is without any complications.
  13. by   OrganizedChaos
    I have absolutely ZERO OB experience so I'm going off of my delivery experience only. I was never given Ambien, only opiates after delivering both of my boys. I think it's a little much to give opiates as well as Ambien.

    What happened is definitely a lose/lose situation. Should the nurse not have medicated the mother & made her nurse in pain? Should the nurse have medicated the mother but then told the mother she couldn't feed her baby?

    The nurse certainly couldn't have sat in the room with the mother while she was feeding. If the mother wasn't ok with formula feeding at all, then what is the solution?

    I roomed in with both my boys but when I was so exhausted or took medication I had a nurse take my son back to the nursery.

    I can't imagine losing my newborn but I hate that all the blame is put on the nurse. If the mother requested the medication & requested to room in with her child, then it was ultimately her responsibility to put her child in his crib at the bare minimum.

    As a parent, there have been times I have been really sick or exhausted & I had to put my child in his crib. He might not have wanted to be in there but he was there. If the mother felt like she was getting sleepy, I wonder why she didn't put her son in his crib.

close