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Medical malpractice alleged after expectant mother dies

A Pennsylvania family claims medical staffers from Temple University Hospital are guilty of negligence that resulted in the death of a woman who was nine months pregnant.

The medical malpractice allegations stem from an incident that began when the family found the mother-to-be barely breathing at the bottom of a staircase after falling. Relatives called emergency response crews and told them of the woman's condition, relaying that she had asthma as well as another minor medical condition.

Although it only took three minutes for first responders to arrive, it took eight additional minutes to retrieve the injured woman from the home after they entered without carrying medical equipment. It also took some time before oxygen was administered. The timing was confirmed by surveillance tapes located at the family's home.

According to the patient's aunt, the medical team asked the woman to "do her part" and assist them in helping her out of the house, even though the expectant mother could not move from weakness.

As if the medical team did not appear slow enough, the video camera showed another seven minutes pass before the ambulance left the property. However, trouble arose at the facility when the team could not open the doors to the vehicle because of a malfunction.

During the time employees tried to open the doors, the woman's heart stopped beating and she passed away before even making it through the hospital doors. Her baby, however, was delivered by emergency cesarean section.

While the family mourns the death of their beloved relative, the medical personnel involved in the situation have been placed on leave pending an investigation. If the expectant mother had been assisted by a team that was properly trained, on time and made sure to have the equipment they needed, the family contends, the woman would still be alive.

Medical errors don't have to occur at a hospital or clinic to be considered medical malpractice. Too many mistakes like those in this tragic story occur across the nation, leaving families of affected patients shattered. Those who believe that the errors of first responders led to the serious injury or death of a loved one would do well to consult a personal injury attorney about the possibility of being compensated for both financial and deep personal loss due to medical mistakes.

Source: MSNBC, "Pregnant Woman Dies, Family Blames Medics," Marisa Brahney and Lauren DiSanto, Oct. 3, 2012

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