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Varicose veins: risks and benefits of undergoing elective surgery

The then 58-year-old patient attended upon the vascular surgeon in April 2014 on referral from her GP regarding her varicose veins. The patient’s friend had suffered a blood clot caused by varicose veins which had broken apart and resulted in a serious condition requiring hospitalisation. In July 2014, the patient underwent varicose vein stripping surgery and later developed right hip and buttock pain requiring ongoing therapy and pain management....

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Failure to warn gives rise to wrongful birth claim: Nouri v Australian Capital Territory [2018] ACTSC

Saba Nouri was born on 3 November 2011 to the plaintiffs with severe disabilities. Saba’s disabilities were characterised as VACTERL association – a collection of vertebral, anorectal, cardiac, tracheo-oesophageal, oesophageal, renal and limb abnormalities. The plaintiffs submitted that the hospital should have informed them about concerns for Saba’s health that arose during the pregnancy....

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Court orders brain surgery on 12-month-old baby against parents’ wishes

Baby K was born on 22 July 2017 with cortical dysplasia in the left hemisphere of his brain. As a consequence, K suffers from a form of epilepsy that is unresponsive to medication. He has spent 10 of his 12 months of life in Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane due to his severe and frequent seizures. K has undergone various treatments, including anticonvulsive drugs, a trial of cannabis oil and ketogenic diet, which have proved largely ineffective....

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No obligation on Tribunal to make all or any combination of protective orders available

Following the making of findings of professional misconduct against a registered nurse who had commenced a sexual relationship with a patient under his care in a psychiatric facility, the nurse consented to a package of orders which included (1) cancellation, (2) disqualification and (3) prohibition. Despite the nurse's consent and the absence of any argument about protective orders, the Tribunal made only one of the protective orders, being (1) cancellation....

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Peer professional opinion and irrationality

In South Western Sydney Local Health District v Gould [2018] NSWCA 69, the NSW Court of Appeal overturned the District Court decision in which the appellant had been found liable in negligence for the treatment of an 8 year old boy’s open fracture to his left thumb – specifically, for failing to administer an additional antibiotic drug (gentamicin). Ultimately, the boy developed osteomyelitis and gangrene in his thumb, which consequently required amputation....

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Federal Court dismisses bid to charge Asset Replacement Fee

Regis had commenced the proceedings seeking a declaration from the Court that the Asset Replacement Charge (ARC) may be lawfully imposed without contravening the Aged Care Act or its associated regulatory instruments. All individuals entering Regis’ facilities from 1 May 2016 have been asked to sign an agreement, which includes an agreement to pay the ARC. Regis ...

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Competent professional practice does not require evidence of “a practice”

In Sparks v Hobson; Gray v Hobson [2018] NSWCA 29, the Plaintiff suffered from Noonan Syndrome, a genetic disorder that prevents normal development in various parts of the body. Due to this disorder, his ability to fill his lungs with air, and hence to breathe, was restricted. Surgery to correct this problem was arranged to take place in two stages. The first operation was successful. The second ...

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Inexact evidence on causation sufficient to demonstrate material contribution

The Plaintiff suffered from epilepsy from six years of age. In 2010, at the age of 20, the Plaintiff underwent electroencephalographic monitoring, a telemetry testing procedure requiring sleep deprivation and the withdrawal of medication to induce a seizure to determine if surgery would be suitable to address her epileptic episodes. During the telemetry procedure the Plaintiff experienced a prolonged ...

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Liability of hospital for actions of a misbehaving patient

A B v Australian Capital Territory [2018] ACTSC 18 is a decision of the Supreme Court of the ACT which considers the liability of a hospital following the abuse and assault of the plaintiff by another patient who was affected by, at least, alcohol and admitted to the same ward. The plaintiff had suffered a PTSD as a result. The plaintiff alleged that the abuse and assault only took place because ...

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No Extension of Limitation Period 16 Years Post-Surgery

One might conclude from the decision, that the Plaintiff, Mr Holcombe, presented as an honest, stoic and credible 42-year-old man, who had tolerated many years of pain and discomfort. However, as the Court concluded, the decision to extend a limitation period must be reasonable, as well as just. Synthesising all the relevant factors, the Court could not find that an extension of time was reasonable, ...

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Neurosurgeon failed to properly advise of treatment options

In February 2011, the Plaintiff was found to have a benign brain tumour. He consulted with Dr Day, a neurosurgeon, who recommended that the tumour be removed by way of endoscopic surgery. The surgery was performed without incident but shortly thereafter the Plaintiff suffered a haemorrhage which left him with significant impairment. It was accepted that there were two available courses of treatment: ...

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Assault or battery case against medical staff dismissed

The applicant was employed as a security officer at Gladstone Hospital. In the evening on 2 August 2012, he was observed to be acting unusually while at work and was directed by a co-worker to attend the Emergency Department. There he was seen by a nurse and a locum doctor who believed him to be either under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs, or suffering from a medical condition that would require urgent attention....

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