A coronial inquest into the death of a woman who fell from a motorway bridge has found no medical liability at a remote dental hospital where she died.
Key points:The coroner found the woman’s death was not caused by “deliberate neglect” at the Dunes dental clinic in South AustraliaThe woman’s body was found by an ATV near the Dineson Reservoir in South Australian’s south-westThe inquest found no evidence of negligence by the woman or her familyThe coronial inquiry heard the woman had been admitted to the Doresa dental clinic on March 27, 2016, at around 3:30pm.
The coronials inquest into her death has heard the body was discovered by a ATV on the Reservoir road.
“She had fallen from the motorway and struck her head and torso, she had suffered serious head injuries and injuries to her extremities,” said Coroner Craig McManus.
The coroner was told the woman, who was not identified by her surname, had died on March 31.
Her body was recovered from the Reservoose on March 28, 2016.
Coroner Craig said the woman was an experienced patient at the clinic and there was no evidence she had been “delusional” or “irrational”.
He said there was also no evidence the woman suffered from a chronic medical condition.
“There was no indication that she had a history of mental illness,” he said.
“No evidence of a substance abuse problem, no evidence that she was suffering from an underlying medical condition or a history in mental health care.”‘
Dune’ hospital is a remote community where residents often stay in a tent on a hill overlooking the Reservoe.
The inquest heard that when the woman arrived at the dental clinic, the staff there had been told to “take her to the nearest emergency department”.
“They did not know what to do,” said coroner Craig.
“It was just a matter of taking her to an emergency department.”
The only person who did not understand what was happening was the patient herself.
“Mr McManuses was told a person was taken to the clinic, who would take the patient to the nearby emergency department at the Reservos Reservoir.”
That is where the body would be taken, the only person there that was actually taking care of the patient at that point was a female doctor, who had never seen a patient who had fallen off a motorways bridge before.”‘
No evidence’ of negligenceThe coroner said the dentist and the woman were not in the same room and the dentist did not have the proper training to deal with a person falling off a bridge.”
I’m not aware of any evidence of an actual medical negligence,” he told the ABC.”
And I am not aware that the staff of the Dumsa clinic had any knowledge of this.
“So I am just not aware as a medical officer that there was any medical negligence involved.”
The coroner heard that at the time of the woman falling, the woman “was in a state of shock”.
He also found the staff did not immediately call for medical assistance.
“As soon as the nurse had said that, there was a rapid response in terms of CPR, but it was not given,” he found.
“At the time there was not the proper knowledge and training in the area.”
The inquest also heard the dental staff had not had a “standard training” for patients falling off motorways.
Mr McConauses findings also found no criminal liability had been shown for the woman.
Topics:accident,fellowship-and-association,death,australiaFirst posted November 19, 2019 12:41:37More stories from New South Wales