For many couples in Pennsylvania, pregnancy is a time of happiness and anticipation for the arrival of a new baby. Unfortunately, that was not the case for one family in another state after a woman died while under hospital care. A medical malpractice lawsuit has recently resulted in an award of $9 million.
The 40-year-old woman was in her seventh month of pregnancy when she was admitted to the hospital. Likely because of her age, her pregnancy was already considered high risk. She reported to the hospital because she was short of breath. The doctor admitted her but ordered no treatment. The next morning, the doctor, a defendant in the case, noted that she was suffering from pneumonia.
The woman remained in a regular patient room as opposed to being moved to the intensive care unit. Although the woman reportedly told nurses throughout the day that her condition was worsening, no additional action was taken. One nurse attempted to contact the doctor, but she took no further action when she was able to. Unfortunately, the expectant mother was discovered dead in her bed later that night. Although the baby was delivered by C-section after the discovery, he did not survive.
The woman's husband claims that medical malpractice on the part of the doctor, nurse and hospital caused his wife's death, and the jury in the case ruled in his favor. While no one is perfect, mistakes in the medical field can often have fatal consequences. In order to ensure that negligent medical care providers in Pennsylvania are held accountable for their actions, many victims also seek recourse in a civil court just as this man has done.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Government on hook for $9 million verdict in Northwest Side hospital deaths", Jason Meisner, May 14, 2016