Findings Revealed From Coronial Inquest Into A Death In A NSW Hospital

Family wanted to say goodbye

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A coronial investigation on the death of Oaklands man William Edmunds at Albury Base Hospital has heard family members wanting better communication from the hospital.  

Mr Edmunds, a 79-year-old man, passed away in the intensive care unit at the NSW hospital one month after admission due to a failed bowel surgery.  

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Dr Liu-Ming Schmidt performed the surgery on November 7, 2019, in which she was required to remove a large piece of Mr Edmunds’s bowel.   

However, Dr Schmidt did not realise her surgical error by performing it on the distal end of Mr Edmunds’s colon until the second operation occurred.  

Under the coronial inquest, Deputy State Coroner Erin Kennedy found other factors contributing to Mr Edmunds’s death, including the prolonged delays in diagnosing a mechanical bowel obstruction.  

During the inquest proceedings on Thursday, the legal representative for Mr Edmunds’ family, Kate Williams, said the family did not even have a chance to say goodbye.   

“They just needed to say goodbye,” Ms Williams said.  

The family raised concerns about conversations with Dr Schmidt when the surgical error happened.  

“The communication was not there, and it was handled poorly,” she said.  

The final findings of the inquest are expected to be released in the next few weeks.

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10 March 2023

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