Pensioner sues over sister’s hospital care

 

A CAIRNS pensioner has taken Queensland Health to court over a procedure that he argues has left his sister bedridden and paralysed.

Joseph Moder, 77 is suing the Cairns and Hinterland Health Service and neurosurgeon Dr Ramesh Duriraj on behalf of his sister Tereszie Sochorova, 85.

Mr Moder is claiming treatment costs for his sister, currently a resident of a Manoora aged care centre.

He has alleged a thrombolysis treatment to reduce blood clotting was administered to Ms Sochorova at Cairns Hospital last July without regard to contraindications including her age and pre existing conditions and without their consent.

Joseph Moder, 77, is suing neurosurgeon Dr Ramesh Duriraj on behalf of his sister Tereszie Sochorova, 85.
Joseph Moder, 77, is suing neurosurgeon Dr Ramesh Duriraj on behalf of his sister Tereszie Sochorova, 85.

"We were not advised of the risk of thrombolysis," Mr Moder told the Cairns Supreme Court. "They were giving her a drip - I thought it was some sort of painkiller."

He said his sister developed haematomas in the arm that received the thrombolysis drip.

"The haematoma got worse and worse," he said. "It turned blue, red and then pitch black - I'd never seen anything like it."

Mr Moder alleged Ms Sochorova later suffered a major stroke from which she has not recovered. "This ... left her paralysed," Mr Moder said.

"They (hospital staff) breached their duty of care."

Dr Ramesh Durairaj, consultant stroke physician.
Dr Ramesh Durairaj, consultant stroke physician.

Mr Moder said his sister had been admitted to hospital after suffering a stroke which he argued was "self healing" and did not justify the use of thrombolysis.

"The injuries that she sustained could have been avoided if the stroke had been left to heal spontaneously," he said.

But Mr Moder has not called expert witnesses, instead relying on documents from websites to build his case.

Justice Jim Henry declined to allow the majority of the paperwork as exhibits.

Medical registrar at Cairns Hospital Dr Alexi Dermedgoglou told the court Ms Sochorova was admitted with symptoms of "acute stroke."

"There was obvious drooping ... the inability to look on the left side," he said.

He said Dr Duriraj told Mr Moder that thrombolysis was necessary to break up clots.

"I recall him explaining the risk of the treatment," he said.

"Following thrombolysis there was an improvement."

He said two hours after Ms Sochorova's admission, her condition worsened.

The trial has been adjourned to Wednesday.



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