Icelandic State to Pay Compensation for Medical Mistake Skip to content

Icelandic State to Pay Compensation for Medical Mistake

Reykjavík District Court has ruled that the Icelandic state should pay additional compensation of ISK 1.4 million (USD 11,000, EUR 8,000) on top of penal interests to a man after his wife died from a hemorrhage at the Landspítali national hospital in 2001.

An aerial view of Landspítali and the surrounding neighborhood. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

The state is also obligated to pay the couple’s two children ISK 800,000 (USD 6,000, EUR 5,000) each. However, the state was acquitted from the man’s demand of extended financial support for his children until they reach the age of 25 instead of the usual age of 18, Morgunbladid reports.

An embryo was placed in the woman’s womb at Landspítali in April 2001 when she was almost 47. Neither the woman nor her husband were informed of potential risks but they were made to sign an agreement for the procedure.

When the woman was 26 weeks pregnant her blood pressure was very high, she suffered from edema and had protein in her urine. She was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and was immediately taken to the pregnancy ward. Her blood pressure dropped after she was submitted and remained stable the following day.

In the night before October 20, 2001, the woman complained about pains in her stomach and her blood pressure rose again. She was diagnosed with digestion pains and was repeatedly given medicine for that.

In the morning of October 20, the woman was given medicine to lower her blood pressure, at which time the hemorrhage had started. She quickly lost consciousness. An emergency caesarian section was made and the baby’s life was saved but the woman died the same day.

The child suffers from many disabilities, among other reasons because of hemorrhage during birth. The couple also have a teenage son who suffers from autism.

The state agreed from the beginning to pay compensation because of extensive negligence of the employees of Landspítali.

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