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Coroners Act In the matter of Coronial Findings and Recommendation into the Death of Ms Souzana Afianos pursuant to section 46B dated 1 January 2004



Coroners Act In the matter of Coronial Findings and Recommendation into the Death of Ms Souzana Afianos pursuant to section 46B dated 1 January 2004

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Tabled paper 1394


Tabled Papers for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT






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because of pain. He qualified this however by indicating that it would not be unusual for obese people to experience discomfort when lying down. He said this would indicate abdominal pain which may have indicated the need for a CT scan. However, he doubted that a CT scan would have been informative at that time as it would not have shown the infection nor the slight bleed which he thought was occurring at the time. He said that imaging would not have detected the infective process on 18 February 2002. He said that there was no one test which then would have shown the onset and progress of the infection. Particularly, he said that although a high white cell count would normally indicate an infection, in this case at that time that result would have properly been attributed to the recent surgery. 42. He maintained his view throughout that the existence of the abdominal pain indicated the need for review by the surgeon. He was critical of the fact that Dr Treacy was not contacted at that time because he had the expertise to determine, better than anyone else, what the abdominal pain complained of by the patient resulted from. Ultimately however, given that the pa t ien ts condit ion appeared stable and to settle with oral analgesia, he doubted that any further treatment would have been instigated. He confirmed that in his view there was no evidence of the secondary haemorrhage on 18 February 2002, although what occurred was the prequel to that condition. Having regard to the symptoms of the Deceased between the 18th and the 20th \ February, in his opinion a laparotomy was not indicated at the time as there was no obvious evidence of interperi tonial catastrophe. He said that would not have warranted the risk of further surgery. I think all this is very telling. 43. He said that given the apparent normality of the signs and observations at that time, he could not really fault Dr M cN airs treatment on that occasion. He agreed that Dr M cN airs actions all appear reasonable and that Dr McNair had good reason to feel comfortable with what he had done and the discharge of the patient. The effects of the codeine phosphate given by Dr McNair would not have masked the rebound or guarding and would only 19