GP cleared of misdiagnosis claim

In the NSW District Court, Donna Quinn argued she became depressed after the appendectomy and subsequent wound infection at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital on 8 July 2011, two days after Cootamundra GP Dr Jacques Scholtz made a preliminary diagnosis of cholecystitis.

Ms Quinn said the operating surgeon told her “my appendix had been blown apart basically; it was in half a dozen pieces, was gangrenous, and I was made of tough stock. I was lucky to be here".

She alleged Dr Scholtz breached his duty of care by failing to refer her to Wagga hospital on the day he saw her, failing to diagnose appendicitis and causing a delay of 24–30 hours in the CT scan.

But expert witnesses agreed the preliminary diagnosis was reasonable. 

The court also heard such diagnoses were complicated in high-BMI patients, and that Ms Quinn, then 43, had responded to antibiotics and been well enough to work on her laptop in hospital and go outside to smoke.

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