$50,000 compenaton for nervous shock claim following poor palliative care by Dubbo Nursing Home

PUBLISHED 10 Oct 2016

Our client was the daughter of a 90 year old man who was admitted to the nursing home in January 2013 with a history of heart and bone issues.

On 9 May 2014, our client’s father fell very ill and had been prescribed oral morphine twice a day for his chronic pain, regular maxolon for nausea and temaze to help him sleep.

On 10 May 2014,  our client noticed that her father was having difficulty holding down his food. She was concerned that the vomiting was affecting his oral medication as he told her he had pain in his abdomen. She asked for the staff to call for a doctor.

On the morning of 11 May 2014, our client noticed her father’s condition had deteriorated further and he was again showing signs of being in pain. Our client noted that a doctor had not been arranged by the nursing home staff and she again requested that a doctor be called.

That afternoon, a general practitioner arrived and instructed the relevant staff to prescribe oral medication and commence subcutaneous morphine, maxolon and clonazepam for pain, nausea and agitation. 

At around 7:00am 12 May 2014, our client noticed that her father was in pain and noted that he had not been given his morphine. She requested morphine be administered and it was administered at 8:00am. The registered nurse decided to insert a butterfly infusion set at the time instead of following the orders of the medical officer to provide subcutaneous medication. Her father passed away at around 10am on the same day.

The failure to properly monitor the plaintiff’s father, as well as the failure to follow the directions of the attending medical officer denied the deceased of a comfortable, peaceful and dignified death. Our client witnessed the pain that her father was in and the discomfort he endured due to the negligent palliative care and sustained psychological injury.

Upon referral to our firm, our specialist medical negligence team, led by Mr Leslie Abboud, sought the expert opinion of a well-regarded nurse. Following the nurse’s report, it became evident that our client’s father’ could have had a more comfortable and peaceful death, therefore avoiding the psychological harm suffered by our client.

Through effective negotiations, Mr Abboud and his team, as well as an expert barrister, negotiated and settled upon an order for the nursing home to compensate our client almost $50,000.00 worth of damages due to the nursing home’s negligence.

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