Would YOU like to be the one being operated on in such circumstances? Where warnings were ignored, equipment wasn't working and personnel had no previous experience in the procedure?
A DOCTOR whose patient died after a common throat operation says he "neglected to go through the paperwork" and failed to heed warnings from a nurse to delay the procedure. The comments came yesterday during an inquest into the 2007 death of popular Emerald grandmother Yvonne Davidson, who died at Rockhampton Base Hospital.
A critically ill Mrs Davidson died shortly after intensive care specialist Dr Robin Leigh Holland performed a percutaneous tracheostomy to help her breathe easier. Although her official cause of death was septicemia (blood poisoning) triggered by pneumonia, an examining pathologist said the operation hurried her death by two days to two months.
New hospital guidelines for the procedure stated two specialists had to perform the operation after the relevant equipment was checked. Registered nurse Lois Gillespie said she gave Dr Holland a printout of the guidelines and told him about the need for another specialist to be present, and that the monitor to be used was problematic.
Although Dr Holland denied the nurse told him the monitor was not working, he admitted appointing Dr David Guitierrez, who had never performed the procedure, to assist him. "Robin said David was as good as any consultant and (David) was his consultant," Ms Gillespie told the court. "Robin was saying that he would do it right and that he didn't need (the monitor)."
The nurse then said Dr Holland couldn't get the bronchoscope light to flash, but assured her "I'd be right. I'll go blind". She claimed she advised Dr Holland to delay the operation in light of equipment failures and a shortage of back-up staff.
Dr Holland said he did not recognise the hospital guidelines given to him because they looked like a list of medical equipment on a trolley. He said he had all confidence in the pair's ability to complete the operation, even when Dr Guitierrez's first attempt to insert a tube did not work.
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