The Sad Truth About Miscarriages
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Wednesday, January 31, 2007)— A woman whose premature baby died the day after she was arrested has sued the Kansas City Police Department and two officers who repeatedly ignored her pleas for medical help while they were arresting her.
A police videotape released Tuesday shows Sofia Salva telling police officers numerous times on Feb. 5, 2006, that she was (three months) pregnant, bleeding and needed to go to a hospital.
After the ninth request, a female officer asked: "How is that my problem?"
Salva, a Sudanese native, was held overnight on traffic violations and outstanding city warrants. After being released the next morning, she delivered a premature baby boy who died after one minute, according to a lawsuit Salva filed Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court.
Salva sued officers Melody Spencer and Kevin Schnell and the Police Department for wrongful death, personal injuries and failure to provide medical assistance. Salva is seeking actual damages exceeding $25,000 and punitive damages to punish and deter such conduct in the future.
"The officers went into this with a preconceived idea of who and what they were dealing with, and they were wrong," said Salva's attorney, Andrew Protzman. "It's tragic."
Well, the bottom line is that medical attention would not have affected this outcome at all. If someone is having a miscarriage, we are powerless to stop it. As long as we are pretty sure a patient does not have an ectopic pregnancy and is not suffering a life-threatening (to the mother) amount of bleeding, then all we can do is pat them on the shoulder and wish them well. Maybe we administer the occasional shot of Rhogam, for whatever that's worth.
"Wrongful death?" ...ridiculous.
"Personal injuries?" ...apparently not.
"Failure to provide medical assistance?" ...that all-important pat on the shoulder, I guess.
Should the officers have taken the woman to a hospital?
Probably. She might have had an ectopic pregnancy and died.
Did they cause harm to the mother or fetus by not doing so?
Not this time.
Does she deserve any financial compensation?
I say no.