Coroner reviews the death of man after hospital surgery

THE appropriateness of the surgical procedure and the post-operative care provided to Mark Anthony Plumb at the Friendlies Society Private Hospital is being considered during an inquest into the 76-year-old's death.

Mr Plumb was admitted to the hospital on September 19, 2014, where he underwent surgery to remove a gall stone.

The Coroners Court heard Mr Plumb complained of pain after surgery and it was determined there had been a complication and the bile duct had been perforated.

The inquest will examine whether staff recognised and responded appropriately to Mr Plumb's clinical deterioration in the evening after his surgery, and the timeliness of the decision to transfer Mr Plumb to the Wesley Hospital for urgent surgical treatment.

Mr Plumb underwent a number of procedures in Brisbane but died on October 23, 2014.

The inquest began in Bundaberg Wednesday, with the hospital staff who cared for Mr Plumb in the hours after his surgery the first to give evidence.

Registered nurse Rebecca Grimes said she collected Mr Plumb from recovery shortly before noon and transported him to Unit 3.

She said within about 10 minutes Mr Plumb suddenly felt very nauseous and was in pain, which he rated a 10 - with 10 being the worst pain.

Ms Grimes said she relayed her concerns to Surgical Intern Dr Jun How Low, who told her he spoke with consultant general surgeon Dr Anderson over the phone.

Ms Grimes said pain relief was administered and at times during the afternoon Mr Plumb was in pain and at other times quite comfortable, but at all times his observations remained stable.

She said when Dr Anderson visited the ward about 6.30pm, it was during shift handover and Dr Anderson left before she had the opportunity to speak to him.

"As far as I was aware he was already aware of the concerns I had," she said.

Surgical Intern Dr Jun How Low also gave evidence, telling the court he had spoke to Dr Anderson about Mr Plumb over the phone.

Dr Low told the court he did not conduct an abdominal examination of Mr Plumb and told Dr Anderson over the phone that the patient pain was trending in the right direction.

Dr Jun How Low said when he finished his shift at 4.30pm he wasn't concerned because Dr Anderson told him he would be there shortly, which he believed would be about 5pm.

Dr Jun How Low said on reflection his level of medical training meant he would not have picked up the perforation.

Dr Anderson is yet to give evidence.

The inquest continues today.


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