Injuries missed, man dies
A man who was later found to have eight broken ribs, a collapsed lung and internal bleeding was given a tetanus injection and sent home from a medical centre with painkillers.
Gary Wilmshurst died two days later as his family gathered for his 62nd birthday.
Coroner Ian Smith, in an inquest report on the death released last week, said aspects of Wilmshurst’s treatment should have been done differently.
He also said the Porirua Accident and Medical Centre, which is a joint venture between the Capital & Coast District Health Board and the Porirua After Hours Medical Centre general practitioners, should make clear it was not an accident and emergency department.
He recommended the facility consider applying the latest Advanced Trauma Life Support Course Manual for Doctors, especially noting the ‘‘pitfall’’ of underestimating the impact of rib fractures, particularly with older patients.
His recommendations came in his report on Wilmshurst’s death, in December, 2011.
Smith said Wilmshurst fell from a ladder into a rock garden outside his Mana home, and was taken to the medical centre at Kenepuru Hospital in ‘‘ extreme pain’’. He was assessed, seen by a doctor, given a tetanus injection, prescribed pain killers, then sent home.
Gary Wilmshurst: His injuries were seriously underestimated.