Doctor defends releasing 'deteriorating' Ann Parsons from ICU

Ann Parsons
Ann Parsons Trinette Stevens

SHOULD Yeppoon grandmother Ann Louise Parsons have been discharged from the Royal Brisbane Hospital's intensive care unit?

That is the question the Queensland Coroner's Court in Brisbane was asked on Monday.

Ms Parsons died days after having brain surgery for a tumour. A CT scan revealed what appeared to be a minor stroke after the surgery.

On September 27, 2012 Ms Parsons was airlifted from the Rockhampton Hospital to the RBWH. She stayed there for 12 days before her brain tumour was operated on. She died at 2.20pm on October 15, 2012.

Ms Parsons's son David Pickham said following the surgery she was alert and able to maintain conversations. But he said over the following days her speech deteriorated.

The court is examining how Ms Parsons's died and the adequacy of the hospital's post-operative care.

Mr Pickham, an associate professor of nursing at Stanford medical school in California, told the court on Friday he believed the hospital had failed to give adequate post-operative care to his mother.

Intensive care doctor Jeremy Cohen agreed Ms Parsons's inability to answer questions regarding where she was or what day it was meant she had a declining neurological state.

Mr Pickham said due to this deterioration he did not believe his mother should have been moved out of the ICU.

In the neurological ward Ms Parsons's condition deteriorated until she died.

But Dr Cohen said he believed her decline was stable and the neurological ward was well positioned to monitor her.

Medical records show nurses noted Ms Parsons was using the wrong words during tests on her consciousness.

Dr Cohen said the tests placed most weight on a person's motor function and ability to listen to instructions - which Ms Parsons continuously got highest ratings on.

He said other issues Ms Parsons's was facing - including low urine levels - could be explained as a result of recently having invasive surgery.

The inquest will conclude on Wednesday.


Topics:  brain cancer coroners court royal brisbane and women's hospital

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