A lawsuit is being considered by a woman who recently gave birth in a Salisbury, Maryland, hospital. The new mother is a nurse, an addictions specialist, who said hospital negligence caused her child to wrongly test positive for drugs.
According to the Maryland nurse who gave birth, Peninsula Regional Medical Center called child welfare officials after the new baby boy’s misdiagnosis showed that he had cocaine and PCP in his system. Only after social services took the baby away from his mother was it discovered that a computer failed to read the child’s test properly.
Because she is an addictions nurse, the mother insisted that the Peninsula Regional Medical Center staff test her own blood for traces of the drugs. When test results came back negative and showed the new mother was not a drug user, the Salisbury hospital admitted the mistake.
As a form of apology, the Peninsula Regional Medical Hospital mailed the mother a letter and explained that the computer responsible for the blood-testing error was affected by a pre-set computer down time. The new parent said the hospital did not elaborate and refused to answer further questions about the drug-testing mistake.
The new parent thinks the hospital took the incident too lightly and feels that the separation from her son cost her valuable mothering time. The nurse says she is angry and wants to sue the hospital for medical malpractice, perhaps in part to make sure that the same drug-testing mistake never places another child in social services for the wrong reasons.
Source: ABC 2, “Infant tested positive for PCP, cocaine,” Nov. 21, 2011