16 Jul 2013

DHB faulted over patient now brain damaged

7:04 pm on 16 July 2013

The Health and Disability Commissioner has criticised the West Coast District Health Board for not providing urgent medical treatment for a patient who now suffers from brain damage.

In a report, the commissioner recommends that the DHB review its induction process for locum doctors and criticises poor clinical documentation.

In September last year, a 54-year-old patient admitted to Grey Base Hospital in Greymouth suffered a ruptured brain abscess after not getting urgent attention.

The report says doctors failed to consult neurosurgical experts at the nearest large hospital and a locum did not know the process for transferring patients at night.

It also identifies numerous cases of poor patient-documentation.

The West Coast District Health Board must review its procedures and report back to the commissioner by September 19.