Patient sues hospital for fumbled handoff

September 11, 2007

Poor communication between a health-system's two facilities caused a newborn to be separated from its mother, who has filed a lawsuit as a result.

A woman who was administered Percocet (oxycodone HCI/acetaminophen, Endo Labs) to reduce pain during labor has sued her hospital, St. Clare's in Sussex, N.J. She had breastfed her baby before the infant was transferred to St. Clare's Denville facility, which has more experience handling neonate care. A drug test was done on the baby, without her knowledge, which revealed the newborn had Percocet in her urine. As a result, state authorities removed the baby from the mother and barred her from seeing the tyke for five months. The mother claims this mishap wouldn't have happened had the Sussex and Denville facilities shared information with each other about the fact that she was given Percocet during childbirth. In response, the hospital said it stands by its care.

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