Misadventure ruling on WA allergy death

Carol Whiteford was admitted to Northam Hospital in Western Australia in March 2008 for a cataract operation, but within hours was dying after being given a 250mg tablet of Diamox.

The pill, containing sulphonamides, was administered despite Mrs Whiteford's medical file containing at least 14 documents in which her allergy to sulphur-based medications was recorded.

A red-alert bracelet indicating a patient had allergies was also worn on her wrist.

Following an inquest, Coroner Dominic Mulligan concluded her death was due to misadventure. He said that Mrs Whiteford was placed at "unnecessary risk" as her surgeon Dr Andrew Stuart had not read her hospital file, was not aware of her allergy to sulphur and was unaware of the significance of her wearing a red bracelet.

"This case highlights the need for precision when describing a patient's allergy," Mr Mulligan said on Tuesday.

The inquest earlier this year was told that within 20