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duty of care

duty of care

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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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GP successfully defends claim alleging negligent insertion of Implanon device

Background On 31 August 2011, the Plaintiff attended on Dr Al-Hakeem and ultimately had an Implanon contraceptive device inserted into her arm. For an Implanon device to be effective, it must be inserted within the first five days of the patient’s menstrual cycle. Unbeknownst to the Plaintiff and Dr Al-Hakeem, at the time the Implanon device was inserted, the Plaintiff was 19 days pregnant....

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Hospital found to have delayed in treating bacterial meningitis

In 2005 the plaintiff was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour. Surgery to remove the tumour in 2006 led to 90% of the tumour being removed. Further surgery undertaken in September 2007, which all experts described as complex, was unable to be completed due to damage to the carotid artery occurring. This damage was repaired and the Plaintiff was transferred to Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) for ongoing care....

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Referral for surgery - competent professional practice

The defendant, a specialist respiratory physician, referred the plaintiff to a cardiothoracic surgeon for treatment of a lung mass following the defendant’s diagnosis of Stage II large cell lung cancer, based on clinical assessment and medical investigations. The plaintiff subsequently underwent left lower lobectomy and lymph node dissection surgery. Post-surgery, analysis of the tissue dissected found that there was no cancer....

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No basis for extension of time

On 12 June 2010 the plaintiff, then 9 weeks pregnant with a confirmed intrauterine pregnancy, was admitted to Geraldton Regional Hospital Emergency Department after experiencing severe chest and abdominal pain. She was observed for six hours and treated for indigestion. A pelvic ultrasound later revealed an ectopic pregnancy that had ruptured her left fallopian tube and caused significant internal bleeding....

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Appeal against alleged failure to diagnose melanoma

The NSWCA’s central inquiry in the appeal was about the appearance of the lesion when the deceased first attended his GP. Due to the inadequacy of the notes taken by the four doctors who had treated the deceased, evidence about the appearance of the lesion was dependent on the recollections of the doctors and the deceased’s wife. The NSWCA ultimately accepted the evidence of the treating ...

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Battery and negligence - Incisional hernia repair

The operation was performed by a surgical registrar under the supervision of a specialist general surgeon. Post-operatively, the plaintiff developed a severe infection associated with the placement of surgical mesh over the region of the hernia dissection. The plaintiff re-presented to the hospital on two further occasions after the operation. The plaintiff’s primary case was in battery alleging ...

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Hospital’s breach was not causative of psychiatric patient’s attempted suicide

Daniel Smith, 25, reported depression, crying and insomnia to his GP on 15 April 2008. This was secondary to his break up with his ex-fiancée, pain from a motor vehicle accident in 2006, associated court proceedings, and his excessive consumption of alcohol. On 30 October 2008, Mr Smith consulted his GP reporting insomnia and anger following another break up with his ex-fiancée. He was ...

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Surgeon and anaesthetist negligent for failure to abandon operation

The patient, Mr Hobson, was born with Noonan Syndrome, a genetic disorder which manifested in a severe lordoscoliosis and idiosyncratic shape of his chest as a result of which he had developed difficulties breathing. Mr Hobson’s condition had deteriorated to the point where he required operations to remedy this defect. The first surgery was performed on 13 November 2009 and was carried out uneventfully....

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Hospital negligent over amputation of child’s thumb

The plaintiff had sustained a severe complex crushing injury to his left thumb and was diagnosed with fractures. Following his presentation to the hospital, the plaintiff’s surgery for wound exploration, washout and fixation of his fractures was postponed until the next morning due to the later arrival of other emergencies that hospital staff had assessed as having higher priority. The plaintiff also received antibiotic therapy at the hospital....

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When a doctor can disclose information in the public interest

The revised guidance provides useful clarification on when doctors can disclose information in the public interest to protect individuals or society from risks of serious harm. The benefits to an individual or to society of the disclosure must outweigh both the patient’s and the public interest in keeping the information confidential. For example, if a disclosure would be likely to be necessary ...

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Epilepsy intervention study leads to $1.6M payout

The patient suffered from epilepsy due to an antenatal stroke. At age 21, she underwent telemetry testing to determine her eligibility for surgical intervention. The testing required her brain activity to be monitored during a seizure. Whilst under Hospital care and supervision, a seizure was induced through medication withdrawal and sleep deprivation.  At 4:03am on 5 January 2010, the patient commenced a seizure episode which lasted for two hours and 44 minutes....

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