Paramedics did not treat pregnant woman quickly enough, family says

Paramedics and EMTs in Will County and throughout the entire state of Illinois are responsible for saving hundreds of lives every year. But like doctors and nurses, these professionals are also vulnerable to making serious and fatal mistakes whenever they deviate from the standard of care.

Last week, a 24-year-old woman died while she was being taken by ambulance to a hospital. The woman was nine months pregnant. Medics had been called to the woman’s home after she fell and was having trouble breathing. The woman’s family was very concerned for her health, especially after medics did not appear to treat the issue as an emergency situation.

Now the family claims that the pregnant woman’s wrongful death could have been prevented had medics been properly trained and prepared for the emergency situation in order to give the woman the medical treatment she needed.

The tragic incident did not occur in Illinois, but it does raise awareness of how important it is for paramedics everywhere to give people the urgent care they need when responding to emergency calls. According to the victim’s family, the woman had fallen down some stairs in her home. The woman’s aunt called 911 when she saw that her niece was having trouble breathing.

At first, the family thought everything would be okay because paramedics had responded within three minutes. But once medics began treating the pregnant woman, the family started to get very concerned for the woman’s safety.

When the medics entered the home, they brought no equipment in with them, even though they had been warned that the woman was not breathing well. Then medics tried to force the woman to sit up on her own. Surveillance video shows that medics did not give the woman oxygen until almost 10 minutes after they had arrived at the house.

When the ambulance arrived at a hospital, the woman stopped breathing. Instead of rushing the woman into the hospital, a doctor had to be called to the ambulance because its doors were stuck and medics could not get the woman out of the vehicle. The doctor was unable to save the woman, but her baby was delivered by Cesarean section.

The family believes that negligence contributed to the woman’s death. They believe that she would have survived had she received oxygen immediately after medics arrived at her home.

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



  • Our firm provides counsel to patients and families who have been harmed by medical malpractice. To learn more about our firm and practice, please visit our Will County medical malpractice page.

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