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Hospital, obstetrician sued for negligence after stillbirth of baby

Background On 13 January 2011, KS was admitted to Calvary Private Hospital. She was a patient of Dr Foote, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, and was pregnant with her first child. By 13 January 2011 the baby was one week overdue and it had been agreed that KS would be induced. After arriving at hospital at about 4:30 pm, she was attached to a foetal heart rate monitor. By 4.58 pm abnormalities ...

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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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GP Obstetrician's conduct not widely accepted practice

Background At 8:25am on 24 August 2009, Cooper’s mother was induced and progressed normally until she reached full dilatation at 8:40pm. There had been no recorded foetal head movements from 4:30pm, and there was clinical evidence of disproportion between the foetal head and maternal pelvis. At 8:45pm she had entered the second stage of labour. She was pushing with each contraction and there was no sign of foetal distress....

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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 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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Neurosurgeon suspended following colleague’s fatal drug overdose

In July 2012 the neurosurgeon became close friends with a neurosurgical registrar (Dr A). Between October 2012 and February 2013 the pair consumed the drug GHB whilst socialising outside work and on weekends. The pair developed a dependency on GHB and discussed trying to wean themselves off using the pharmaceutical drug Pregabalin. On 21 April 2013, Dr A was found deceased from a heroin overdose. The ...

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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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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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Hospital wins appeal in appendicitis case

The claim arose from the alleged negligent care the Plaintiff received as a patient at Fremantle Hospital (the Hospital) in 2009 when it was said that staff delayed in the diagnosis of his appendicitis. It was alleged that the Hospital was negligent by: failing to diagnose appendicitis on his admission on 31 July 2009;, incorrectly interpreting the CT scans of the Plaintiff's abdomen on 31 July ...

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Accreditation to work at private hospital does not give rise to a contract

The anaesthetist, who had worked at the Hospital for many years, claimed he had been bullied by two nurses at the Hospital in 2013 and 2014 and, as a consequence of his complaint to hospital management, he lost the opportunity to work on a particular surgery list conducted by another doctor. Prior to his complaint a significant portion of his work at the hospital was as anaesthetist to this surgeon....

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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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The duty of the court to self-represented litigants

In late 2008, the applicant noticed swelling on the left side of his face and neck extending along the jaw line to a point near the left ear. Following an ultrasound examination, the applicant was referred to hospital. He attended the hospital on 12 February 2009 and was examined by Mr Chan, an ENT surgeon. Fine needle aspiration of the lump was performed and a diagnosis made of “features suggest abscess”....

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