Woman Sues Paramedics Whose Actions Were Responsible For Loss Of Her Baby

09th July 2010
By J. Hernandez in Medical Malpractice
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Paramedics, who are generally the first to arrive on the scene of a medical emergency need to administer treatment that meets the applicable standard of care. As the first on the scene we depend on paramedics to have the knowledge, training, and experience to differentiate between conditions that can be treated at the scene from those that require urgent transport to a hospital with the essential equipment and full medical staff. In what follows we examine a case in which paramedics answered a call from a woman who had experienced a placental abruption at nearly full term of her pregnancy. The paramedics did not appreciate the signs shown by the expectant mother, like the fact that she was in shock from blood loss, and did not take her at once to a hospital. In the time that lapsed the unborn baby's oxygen supply was cut off as a result of the placental abruption.

The total of the time it took the paramedics before they made the decision to take the expecting mother to the hospital where the baby was delivered was at least eighteen minutes. In this time the baby's oxygen supply was drastically cut off due to the bloods loss from the placental abruption.. The newborn died one day day after being born. The mother needed further surgery for the severe bleeding she experienced. The bleeding was so major that she temporarily lost kidney function. The mother retained a law firm to pursue a lawsuit for malpractice resulting in the death of her baby.

Every State has its own specific laws regarding medical malpractice and wrongful death claims. Some States have laws that allow only the mother to pursue a claim for the loss of newborn due to malpractice. The State where this case arose, for example, mandated that in order for a woman to succeed on a claim for the emotional damage she endured from the loss of her baby she first needs to establish that she endured a physical injury that was caused by the same negligence that caused the death of the newborn and that the mother's physical injury would not have typically occurred in a normal childbirth. After 6 months following the passing of her baby, the woman began struggling with serious depression which, despite a regimen of therapy and prescribed drugs, continued through the time of the law firm's account of the case and will require the lifelong need for medication. The mother met those requirements.|All three requisites were present in this case.|Given the injuries the mother herself suffered from the delay by the paramedics, she was able to pursue a claim.

The law firm that handled the case on her behalf reported that they took the case to trial and achieved a verdict of $4.5 million. As this lawsuit shows, health care providers such as paramedics are held accountable for providing care that is in keeping with the applicable standard of care. When they do not meet the standard of care they may be liable for malpractice.

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