Earlier this month, it was revealed that Supreet Kaur, a young engineer who was visiting her family in Perth, died as a result of a blood clot in her brain. Her sudden death again brings into question the actions of hospital staff and whether she received reasonable care.

On 17 October, Ms Kaur started to develop severe headaches and discolouration in her fingers and feet. She visited a local general practitioner (GP) who advised her to undergo a CT scan at the emergency department of Fiona Stanley Hospital. Despite the advice of the GP, Ms Kaur’s family allege that hospital staff refused to perform a CT scan. Instead, staff allegedly took blood samples and sent her home with pain medication.

Ms Kaur’s symptoms deteriorated further over the next few days. Her headaches became worse, she struggled to walk, she vomited more frequently and she became more sensitive to light. She visited her GP who again reiterated that she needed to undergo a CT scan and referred her to the hospital once more. Despite her symptoms, it is alleged that hospital staff again refused to perform a CT scan.

By 24 October, Ms Kaur’s condition had deteriorated significantly. She started to slur her speech. She lost control over the right side of her body and she eventually collapsed in the bathroom. This prompted hospital staff to finally perform the CT scan which showed that she had clotting and bleeding in her brain. She was transferred to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital for emergency surgery but could not be saved.

The emergence of these types of cases brings into question the appropriateness of the care and treatment offered to patients. It raises questions about what symptoms a patient must demonstrate in order to receive a radiology scan and whether the failure to demonstrate ‘typical’ symptoms could cause hospital staff to refuse a scan which could save a person’s life. It also raises questions about the value that is placed on the advice of a GP and the extent to which hospital staff should accept a GP’s advice when determining whether a radiology scan is necessary.

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At Turner Freeman Lawyers, we specialise in medical negligence claims. If you or someone you know has suffered from medical treatment which you believe was not appropriate, we encourage you to call 13 43 63 to speak with one of our medical law experts today.