- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 2, 2016

REXBURG, Idaho (AP) - The city of Rexburg has settled a lawsuit with the family of an infant who was burned by paramedics.

Londyn Porter suffered second-degree burns in August 2014 when a paramedic applied a Rapid Heat bag on a foil blanket covering the baby shortly after she was born. The pack quickly reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit, The Rexburg Standard Journal reported (https://bit.ly/2ensMZH ).

Paramedics had been called because Jenise Porter experienced a “spontaneous birth,” according to court records. When they arrived the baby appeared bluish, and the paramedics used the foil blanket and a Rapid Heat bag to warm her up.

Officials say paramedics had run out of the heating bag they normally used and instead used the Rapid Heat bag, which they may not have known heated so quickly. The Madison County Fire Department has since discarded its Rapid Heat bags.

Last week, city officials announced they had settled the lawsuit as well as created what they are calling the “Londyn Porter Policy” which requires all fire department personnel be trained in the uses of heat packs.

“I am grateful to the Porter family, the City of Rexburg, and the Madison Fire Department for coming together to reach a resolution, and I am especially grateful that it resulted in the creation of something positive,” Mayor Jerry Merrill said.

The city’s attorney, Steve Zollinger, said the lawsuit was less about money and more about making sure there was not a repeat incident.

“We need to acknowledge that this was a circumstance that, with the best intentions of our paramedics, resulted in a burn to this young baby. We want to make sure we increase our level of training to prevent such injuries in the future,” Zollinger said.

The exact amount of the settlement has not been disclosed. The Porters had originally sought $100,000 plus medical fees and attorney costs for Londyn’s 2014 injury.

The Porter family has agreed that the paramedic did not mean in harm their baby.

Merrill previously said the paramedic involved has done a lot of good work, despite the mistake.

“He’s a great guy and a very good paramedic. He feels horrible that it happened. He’s just beside himself and feels very bad about it. We all wish that it hadn’t happened. We’re just trying to move ahead,” he said.


Information from: Standard Journal, https://www.rexburgstandardjournal.com/

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