`Dr. Death” should have chosen safer options for treating his patients

February 16th, 2009 - 6:27 pm ICT by ANI  

Brisbane (Australia), Feb.16 (ANI): Controversial Indian-born surgeon Dr. Jayant Patel should have considered safer treatment options for a patient who died after an operation, a Brisbane court has heard.
Patel, 58, has been charged with the manslaughter of James Phillips and two other patients.
He was the director of surgery at the Bundaberg Base Hospital in Queensland between 2003 and 2005, and faces an additional 10 charges including fraud and grievous bodily harm, reports news.com.au.
Giving evidence on Monday via video link from Adelaide, renowned oesophagectomy specialist Dr Glyn Jamieson told the court Patel should have considered other, safer treatment options for Mr Phillips.
He said Patel should first have performed an endoscopic ultrasound.
This, he said, would have indicated the cancer was superficial and required only partial removal of the oesophagus, rather than a full oesophagectomy.
Dr Jamieson said this procedure was less serious and, therefore, more suitable for a patient like Phillips, who was already seriously unwell with kidney failure.
Dr. Jamieson also told the court he didn”t believe oesophagectomies should necessarily have been carried out at hospitals like Bundaberg, which has a low level of intensive care support for post-operative patients.
“It should have been performed where there was a higher level of support,” he said.
Dr Jamieson said an experienced surgeon needed to perform the procedure 10 times a year in a high level support hospital in order to maintain his skills.
The court was told Patel performed just five oesophagectomies in 21 months at the Bundaberg Base Hospital.
The hearing will resume on Tuesday when nurse unit manager Toni Hoffman, who blew the whistle on Patel’’s alleged negligent actions, will give evidence. (ANI)

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