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Florida woman sues hospital after infant dies

A 21-year-old Florida woman has accused a hospital of failing to prevent her newborn's death. She filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the facility, seeking unspecified damages in compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs and mental pain and suffering.

The death at the center of the wrongful death case occurred less one day after the plaintiff gave birth by cesarean section. She claims she instructed her nurses to take her baby after she finished breastfeeding, but fell asleep before they did so due to fatigue and high-strength painkillers. She asserts that the child was unresponsive when she woke up. An autopsy was ordered, but the woman did not learn the results until almost 12 months later. The infant had been smothered by the plaintiff as they slept together.

Although advocates of co-sleeping creates stronger bonds between mothers and their children, the American Academy of Pediatrics has warned against the practice, arguing that it can lead to sudden infant death syndrome or suffocation. The Florida Department of Children issued a statement decrying co-sleeping after four infants died in northeast Florida. The agency stressed that parents should place their children in cribs to avoid a potential accident. Similarly, the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition announced that infants who sleep with their parents are 40 times as likely to asphyxiate as those who sleep in cribs. The coalition added that 129 babies died in northeast Florida due to hazardous sleeping practices over a three-year period.

The lawsuit contends that the nurses should have been aware of the dangers associated with co-sleeping, as well as those posed by a tired mother under the influence of narcotic medications, and removed the baby in a more timely manner.

Source: Marco News, "Collier mom whose infant died in her hospital bed sues, alleges lax care," Aisling Swift


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