The Health and Disability Commissioner has recommended that a doctor complete further training after his failure to perform a proper examination led to a patient’s death.

The patient had been feeling unwell for a few days, and called the after-hours clinic. The nurse on the phone recorded that the patient had been experiencing cramps and vomiting.

The nurse passed this information on to the doctor. When the patient came into the clinic, the doctor carried out a routine examination. However, the doctor did not carry out an abdominal examination. The patient was sent home with some medicine for his nausea.

Two days later the patient died from blood poisoning due to a blockage in his gut.

The Commissioner held that by failing to examine the patient’s gut, even after the nurse made a note of stomach cramps and vomiting over the phone, the doctor breached the patient’s rights.

Under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights, every person has the right to have services provided with reasonable care and skill.

Health practitioners are required to provide all of their patients with care that is of a reasonable standard. If there are concerns about the quality of treatment you have received from a practitioner, it is wise to speak with a professional experienced in the area.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-priced Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Alan Knowsley
Medical Lawyer