A NORTH East doctor has been reprimanded after the death of a patient, with a report noting he made “seriously inappropriate decisions” about her care.
A complaint was made to the Health Care Complaints Commission about Dr Nigel Peter Murray, who practices at hospitals and clinics in Corowa, Rutherglen and Yarrawonga.
He has admitted aspects of his conduct fell “significantly below the appropriate standard”.
The general practitioner had been a visiting medical officer at Corowa Hospital, where a 79-year-old woman presented on January 8, 2015, following her first dose of chemotherapy for breast cancer.
The patient arrived at 8.15pm and was assessed by Dr Murray before being admitted.
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A nurse phoned Dr Murray overnight to state the woman had abdominal pain and he prescribed her morphine without seeing her.
Another nurse later called Dr Murray to say the woman’s condition had deteriorated, and he increased the dose of morphine.
She became distressed and confused but Dr Murray stayed in the hospital on-call room then assessed the patient in the morning, before again prescribing morphine.
The woman became unresponsive and was transferred to Albury hospital, where she died hours after arrival.
A complaint against Dr Murray, who lives in Lavington, alleged he “failed to provide adequate care and treatment by not attending the patient after the first phone call, and again after the second phone call”.
It was further alleged he prescribed too much morphine, failed to urgently transfer the patient to the large hospital and failed to properly record her condition.
The Professional Standards Committee recently found “Dr Murray made a number of seriously inappropriate decisions in relation to the care and treatment of (the patient)”.
He was reprimanded and has been ordered to complete education courses, notify employers of the committee's findings, and undergo monitoring by the Medical Council of NSW.
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