Paramedics, who are usually the first on the scene of a medical emergency need to provide treatment that meets the applicable standard of care. Their ability to identify symptoms, to make fast and correct decisions as to whether to contact a doctor for help, whether to give drugs or do a procedure at the scene, and whether to take the person at once to a hospital, and even which hospital to choose, can literally make the difference between life and death.
This article evaluates a documented claim involving a woman who called in from her home in the very early morning with complications from her pregnancy. The paramedics did not appreciate the signs exhibited by the woman, including the fact that she was in shock from blood loss, and did not take her at once to a hospital. During the delay the unborn baby’s oxygen supply was cut off due to the placental abruption.
Their failure to take immediate action resulted in a lapse of time of at least 18 minutes. In the 18 minute delay prior to being moved to the hospital the baby was deprived of necessary oxygen due to the mothers loss of blood from the placental abruption.. The newborn survived for merely one day after being born. The bleeding was so extreme that the woman had to have further surgery to control it. In addition, she had temporary kidney failure as a result of the loss of blood. The mother retained a law firm to being a lawsuit for malpractice resulting in the death of her baby.
Each State has its own unique laws regarding medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuits. Certain States have laws which enable only the mother to pursue a lawsuit for the death of newborn due to malpractice. In the State where this situation arose, for example, in order to be able to recover for the emotional damage suffered by the woman from the death of her infant the law firm that represented her had to show that the mother (1) suffered a physical injury that came about from the same negligence that caused the demise of the baby and (2) that such physical injury to the mother would not have typically happened in a normal childbirth. 6 months after the death of her baby, the mother commenced enduring grave depression which, even though she followed a routine of therapy and prescribed drugs, continued through the time of the law firms account of the case and will need the lifelong need for medication. The mother met every one of the requisite conditions.
The law firm that handled the case on the woman’s behalf reported that they took the case to trial and achieved a verdict of $ 4.5 million. Paramedics are health care providers. They are trained and they are licensed. They are expected to be able to recognize symptoms of serious health issues and to take proper and timely action. Should they not and their actions do not meet the applicable standard of care, they may be liable.
Joseph Hernandez is an Attorney accepting birth injury medical malpractice cases. You can learn more about placental abruption and other types of birth injuries including fetal distress matters by visiting the websites