Jury Awards $4,500,000 To Woman For Death Of Infant While Under Treatment By Paramedics

 By: J. Hernandez
Paramedics are often the first to respond to medical emergencies. Paramedics are licensed health care providers who owe a duty to meet the standard of care to those they respond to and treat. Their ability to recognize symptoms, to make fast and correct choices as to whether to contact a physician for guidance, whether to administer drugs or do a procedure right then and there, and whether to take the individual directly to a hospital, and even which hospital to pick, can literally make the difference between life and death. This article analyzes a lawsuit involving a woman who called in from her home in the very early morning complications from her pregnancy. When the paramedics arrived at the house the pregnant woman was already in shock because of abrupt loss of blood resulting from by a placental abruption. The paramedics did not recognize the seriousness of the circumstance and took roughly 18 minutes prior to taking her to the hospital.

Their failure to take fast action resulted in a delay of at least eighteen minutes. During the eighteen minute period the pregnant woman's unborn baby suffered from hypoxia as a result of the blood loss from the placental abruption.. The baby died just day after being born. The mother's blood loss was so bad that she had to have further surgery to stop it. She also suffered from temporary kidney failure because of the loss of blood. The law firm that handled this matter sued the paramedics for their failure to understand the woman's condition and their delay in taking her to the hospital.

Each State has its own specific laws regarding medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuits. Certain States have laws that permit only the mother to pursue a case for the loss of newborn as a consequence malpractice. In the State where this matter arose, for example, in order to be able to recover for the emotional damage suffered by the mother from the death of her infant the law firm that handled the case had to show that the mother (1) suffered a physical injury that resulted from the same negligence that caused the demise of the infant and (2) that such physical injury to the woman would not have normally occurred in a normal childbirth. 6 months after the death of her child, she commenced struggling with devastating depression which, despite a regimen of therapy and medication, lasted through the time of the law firm's account of the case and will require the ongoing use of medication. The mother met every condition.|All three requisites were fulfilled in this case.|Given the injuries the mother herself suffered from the delay by the paramedics, she was able to go forward with a lawsuit.

The law firm was able to report that they took the case to trial and achieved a verdict of $4.5 million on behalf of the woman. As this claim illustrates, health care providers like paramedics are held responsible for providing care that is in keeping with the applicable standard of care. When they fail to do so they might be liable for malpractice.
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