Judith McNaught died at Rockhampton Hospital.
Judith McNaught died at Rockhampton Hospital. Contributed

Antibiotics may have saved Judith

A DOCTOR yesterday testified he did not realise antibiotics could have immediately improved Judith McNaught's chances of survival.

The 69-year-old died five days after Dr Vinay Goundar removed her gall bladder at Rockhampton Hospital in June 2010.

The training registrar in general surgery took the witness stand yesterday on the third day of the inquest into Mrs McNaught's death.

Dr Goundar told the court he completed the routine operation under the supervision of consultant surgeon Dr Alan Atherstone.

Dr Atherstone earlier testified that Mrs McNaught was found to have septicemia (blood poisoning) about midday on June 3, almost two days after the surgery.

He said antibiotics were "directly related" to Mrs McNaught's survival and should have been given without delay.

Dr Atherstone said he discussed antibiotics with Dr Goundar and assumed his colleague would organise their administration.

Dr Goundar said he knew antibiotics would help, but had not realised they would have immediately improved Mrs McNaught's condition.

He said one of the antibiotics could have worsened one of her complications.

"I didn't know there was a specific correlation," he said.

The inquest was now expected to adjourn on Friday and reconvene in May.

Mrs McNaught's son, David, said the lengthening of the inquest was distressing, but he would prefer it was done thoroughly.



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