March 22, 2005
Check out this story.
Donna Johnson was in North Suburban Medical Center after having a baby. The day after the birth, a nurse brought her the
baby to nurse. She thought it was odd that the baby wouldn’t nurse, as she had successfully nursed it the day before.
She took off the baby’s cap and realized it was not her baby. She freaked out, the nurse who brought the baby freaked
out, and then they brought her the right baby. Since the incident she has remained unsure whether or not the baby was really
hers, even though DNA testing was done to confirm that it was.
What is Johnson doing now? Why she’s suing, of course. Note that the wrong baby never actually nursed, so there was
never any chance of a disease being passed around. Many people would just let it go. Mistakes in the medical world happen
all the time, no matter how many policies are in place to prevent them. Why sue if nothing actually came of the mistake? However
her lawsuit claims that she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and is now “obsessed by the possibility that she
may lose her baby.” The suit also claims loss of earnings, because she has not been able to return to work, and loss
of consortium, because her husband has been “deprived of marital intimacy with his wife”– probably because
his wife is acting kind of crazy.
The article also says that she and her husband had been trying to conceive for 10 years. I know from experience that under
those circumstances women often get pretty upset and obsessive over conceiving, and sometimes those feelings don’t go
away after the baby is born. Something tells me she may very well have had many of the same problems if this incident had
not happened. Also, many women who plan to return to work after birth never actually do, especially if it is their first baby.
As for the loss of consortium claim - uh, welcome to parenthood, people.
Of course the hospital will probably settle. Given that they already have identification bands that must be checked every
time the baby is moved, I doubt that they will be able to really change their policies much to ensure that it never happens
again. If you ask me, this is a great reason to house newborns and their mothers in the same hospital room.
Posted by illuminaria at March 22, 2005 12:16 PM
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