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Emergency medical workers cited in pregnant woman's death

Medics are trained to provide care in the most critical circumstances. When a patient is in severe distress, the difference between their survival and premature death can come down to a matter of seconds. When these medical providers fail to uphold their duty, tragedy can strike

North Carolina readers may be saddened to hear of a recent case involving an expecting mother who passed away as the result of apparent medical errors made by emergency workers. The woman was nine months pregnant when she accidentally fell down stairs, which caused her to have serious difficulty breathing.

Within minutes, an ambulance arrived at the woman's house. Unfortunately, the situation quickly unraveled form here. Medics made their way into the house without any equipment and urged the pregnant woman to help them move her to the ambulance, but her condition prevented her from doing so. Finally, the medics had the woman in their ambulance after minutes. From the time the call was made to 911, it took medics 23 minutes to get the woman to the hospital.

By the time she arrived at the hospital, the woman's heart had stopped, but the medics could not get the ambulance doors open. Tragically, the woman did not survive, but her child was delivered and was placed in critical care.

In the wake of the accident, the woman's family says the medics could have done more to prevent the woman from passing away. Had they responded with more urgency and provided oxygen immediately, they believe she could have survived her injuries.

Emergency officials indicate that they will launch an investigation into what happened, but insist they did everything they could. Beyond making initial comments to local media outlets, the woman's family has not indicated if they will pursue a medical malpractice claim to help them through the undoubtedly difficult days and weeks ahead.

Expecting parents only want the best for their child. Medical emergencies involving someone who is nine months pregnant often require urgent attention. As such, it's not unreasonable for North Carolina residents to expect their medical providers will do what is necessary for the health of the mother and her child.

Source: NBC News, "Pregnant Woman Dies, Family Blames Medics," Marisa Brahney and Lauren DiSanto, Oct. 2, 2012

  • Our firm has experience helping North Carolina families with the painful effects of a medical error. The pain of a mistake is only amplified when it involves an expectant parent. To find out more, please visit our pregnancy complications page.

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