The coroner of Wellington, Garry Evans has called upon the procedures at the Wellington Hospital to be reviewed. This follows the death of a 19-year-old Cassandra Ann Laurent , of pneumonia. The junior doctors of the hospital did not diagnose her case properly.
The patient had been suffering from symptoms similar to flu for weeks before her death. She had even visited the hospital about a week before her death when she was x-rayed. The hospital's emergency department did not examine the x-ray until the day of her death.
The junior doctors had discharged her one day before her death. The x-ray alone would have been enough to confirm her real condition. Pneumonia was not even suspected by the junior doctors.
The inquest has made recommendations like senior doctors supervising the junior emergency department doctors, protocols with regard to when senior doctors should be referred to by the juniors, a senior medical officer reviewing the x-rays, and the establishment of a radiology alert system.
The recommendations of the coroner has already been implemented, according to the Capital and Coast District Health Board. The junior doctors on the other hand contend that there is no constant supervision at the emergency and accident departments. The girl's mother has threatened of legal action against the doctors responsible for her death, with the object of preventing such deaths in future.