Medicolegal Problems

Posted by Dr Mike O'Connor on 13 October 2015
To establish a case in Australian civil law for medical negligence there are 4 elements required for proof: The doctor owed a duty of care to the patient. The doctor breached that duty of care. The breach caused the damage/injury (more probably than not)-'Factual causation' and 'Scope of liability'. The damage was foreseeable. The key to proving a breach of the duty of care is to establish that the doctor's actions lay outside the norms of...
Posted in:Medicolegal  

Reaccreditation for Diagnostic Ultrasound

Posted by Dr Mike O'Connor on 7 October 2015
In September 2015 this practice was reaccredited for diagnostic ultrasound services under the stringent Commonwealth Health Standards.  We want to tell our patients that their well-being is our priority. QIP accreditation assures patients that we are committed to providing ultrasound care which meets the Standards laid down by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.

Dr O'Connor offers a range of diagnostic ultrasound services including early and late obstetric imagi...
Posted in:Ultrasound  

Miscarriage as Grievous Bodily Harm from Trauma

Posted by Dr Mike O'Connor on 17 September 2015
I was recently asked to comment on the likelihood that an assault was the cause of a subsequent 12 week miscarriage. The maximum penalty in NSW for a conviction for common assault is 2 years, the maximum penalty for assault causing actual bodily harm is 5 years imprisonment and for assault causing grievous bodily harm with intent is 25 years imprisonment.

The likelihood of trauma as a cause of miscarriage in the first trimester is very low especially because the bony pelvis protects the gr...
Posted in:Miscarriage  

Ogilvie's Syndrome

Posted by Dr Mike O'Connor on 17 August 2015
I recently was asked to provide a report on a patient who developed a bowel rupture some 4 days after a Caesarean Section. She was an older mother on anti-depressants. On day 3 she developed right sided pain above her scar associated with abdominal distension. After she opened her bowels later that day she was discharged from hospital.

She was readmitted the following day with an obvious acute diaphragm and was found to have gas under her diaphragm on X-ray.

A general surgeon per...
Posted in:Caesarean Sections  

Medico- Legal Aspects of Shoulder Dystocia

Posted by Dr Mike O'Connor on 27 February 2014
An increasing number of recent requests for expert evidence seem to involve claims for brachial plexus palsy in babies as a result of shoulder dystocia. The definitions are as follows:

1. Shoulder Dystocia: (incidence 0.5-1.5% of deliveries a.Prolonged Head to Body Delivery Time >60 seconds
b. Resnik (1980) : Condition requiring special manoeuvres after failure to deliver the shoulders with downward traction
c. Arrest of spontaneous delivery due to impaction of the anterior...
Posted in:Shoulder Dystocia  

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