Jason Richards’ wife Kelly (right) died after a routine operation. Richards Family L-R Andrew, 7, Phillipa, 6, Jacquin, 4, Richard, Kelly and Jonas, 7 months.
August 18th, 2011
WHEN Kelly Richards went into hospital for a routine day procedure last month, her husband Jason never imagined that she would not come home.
Six months after giving birth to their fourth child, Mrs Richards was admitted to Wonthaggi Hospital on July 13 for what was meant to be a simple sterilisation procedure.
But after a series of complications and setbacks, including the provision by another hospital of unusable frozen blood, the 29-year-old bled to death.
The shocking loss has left Mr Richards and his lawyers asking many questions about his wife’s care that day.
Among other things, they are wondering if a shortage of blood products at Wonthaggi Hospital contributed to her death.
If so, her case will probably be added to a large catalogue of mishaps that occur in Victorian hospitals every year, and that are counted under the heading of ”adverse events”. According to research revealed in The Age today, almost 20,000 incidents causing harm to patients occurred in Victorian hospitals in 2005-06.
According to a lawyer representing Mr Richards, Dimitra Dubrow, Mrs Richards started bleeding from an unknown site during the sterilisation procedure at Wonthaggi, and was given several blood transfusions. However, when more surgery was required and plasma was brought in from Traralgon Hospital, it could not be used because it was frozen.
After several operations to try to resolve her problem, she was transferred by air ambulance to the Royal Melbourne Hospital at 1.30pm, and she died 7½ hours later.
”Kelly’s tragic death following a routine gynaecological procedure raises a number of questions about the care that she received,” said Ms Dubrow, of Maurice Blackburn. ”These include finding out what injury … occurred during the keyhole surgery and why and whether the steps taken in response to the emergency were appropriate.
”There are also issues around the blood products and whether the surgery performed to address the bleeding was appropriate. There is an issue whether more extensive surgery was needed to stop the bleeding which … cost Kelly her life.”
Mrs Richards had no known health problems before the procedure, apart from mild asthma.
”Jason and his loved ones are still trying to come to terms with this awful tragedy,” Ms Dubrow said. ”The hospital is carrying out its own investigation about what occurred and the case has been referred to the Coroner.”
Mr Richards said he was devastated by the loss of his wife, who he described as a nurturer. He said she worked hard to do everything she could for them. ”I never got the chance to say goodbye. I just wish that we had had a chance to grow old together, to see our kids grow up and to see our grandkids.”
The chief executive of Bass Coast Regional Health, Lea Pope, said Wonthaggi Hospital staff had met the Richards family to share everything they knew about the case ahead of a ”root cause analysis”, which was still being done.
She said hospital staff were extremely upset about what had happened and were co-operating with the coronial investigation. ”We’re looking at everything that happened from the perspective of every staff member involved.”
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
25337 99381941 64
her path of destiny = 64 = Misfortune.
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