Health Alert (Australia) - September 1, 2014


In This Issue:

Judgments; Legislation; and Reports.

Excerpt from Judgments:

Victoria -

27 August 2014 - Finding of Inquest into the Death of Robert Vivian Hawkins COR 2010/0520 -

In February 2010, the deceased underwent surgical removal of a moderately large localised tumour in his kidney at Wodonga Hospital. During the course of the surgery, the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) was inadvertently divided instead of the left renal artery. The urologist proceeded, unaware of this misidentification. Mr Hawkins consequently suffered a cardiac arrest and a significant reduction in blood supply to his bowel. As there was no Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Wodonga Hospital, he was transferred to the Albury Base Hospital ICU and then to St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne, where he underwent open surgery.

The Coroner considered respectively whether or not open surgery should have occurred earlier, and whether or not the SMA should have been re-vascularised earlier. The Coroner made no criticism of the treating practitioners in respect of both issues...

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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