Category Archives: Forensic pathology

Coronial autopsies, Disaster victim identification, Mortuary practice, forensic histology, forensic odontology, forensic skeletal examination, forensic anthropology, ethics, Legislation (i.e. Coroners Act), evidence provided at courts/in trials (expert evidence) by pathologists, Deaths in custody.
Focus on Queensland content unless wide reaching consequences (i.e. Evidence challenged in court, changes in equipment/methodology, malpractice)

Beautiful babies who never drew breath are denied the right to an inquest under Queensland laws

Sunday Mail 29 March 2015

AS MANY as 70 baby deaths a year in Queensland are being barred from independent examination under laws denying late-term stillbirths the right to an inquest.

A Sunday Mail investigation has uncovered serious medical mishaps linked to stillbirths that have never been independently examined despite parents wanting coronial ­inquiries into the deaths.

Bereaved parents hope a Queensland Government review into the potential change will consider making inquests possible for any late-term stillbirths.  Former State Coroner Michael Barnes said it was “illogical” that coroners could investigate a baby death moments after birth but not those that occurred moments before.

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Byron Bay skydiving tragedy claims second life

Gold Coast Bulletin | Sunday Mail Jeremy Pierce 28 March 2015

A CHAMPION skydiver critically injured in an aerial accident near Byron Bay, has died in hospital. After hours of emergency surgery, the 44-year-old died in Gold Coast University Hospital late yesterday.  Reports on the deaths will be prepared for the coroner.

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Analysis of parts in midair collision

Townsville Bulletin Rachel Afflick 28 March 2015

AUSTRALIA’S national transport safety investigator is examining parts from two ultralights that crashed south of Townsville last month killing pilots – Mr Young, 68, and Mr Friend, 72, died when their ­ultralights crashed 7km south of Donnington Airpark at Woodstock on February 10.

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DNA from 78 Germanwings crash victims found

ABC News 30 March 2015

Forensic teams have isolated 78 distinct DNA strands from body parts at the Germanwings crash site in the French Alps, officials say.

Most body parts were being winched up to helicopters before being transported to a lab in Seynes where a 50-strong team of forensic doctors and dentists and police identification specialists is working.

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The hellish task of identifying 149 victims: 600 body parts removed from site as it emerges killer co-pilot’s remains have already been found

Upgraded murder charge, Kin Kin

QPS News 28 March 2015

A man has had his charges upgraded following the death of a boy overnight in Brisbane.

The two-year-old boy was airlifted to the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital on Wednesday with serious injuries that police will allege were inflicted during assaults on numerous occasions between December 2015 and March this year.

The boy was in a critical condition and was pronounced deceased last night.

A 33-year-old Kin Kin man was charged with one count of grievous bodily harm yesterday and has had this charge upgraded to one count of murder.

Four counts of assault occasioning bodily harm were also laid against the man yesterday and today there has been an additional count of torture and of assault occasioning bodily harm laid.

He is due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on March 30.

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Brisbane father charged with the murder of his toddler

Toddler dies in Brisbane hospital after ‘months of abuse’

Kin Kin father Shane Purssell Akehurst to face court for bashing murdering son, 2

One dead after fuel tanker crashes with van near Kilcoy, north-west of Brisbane

ABC News 27 March 2015

A person has died in a crash between a fuel tanker and a van on the D’Aguilar Highway, near Kilcoy, north-west of Brisbane.
Police said the truck, believed to be carrying 30,000 litres of petrol and diesel, crashed with a van at 10:30am, causing an extensive fuel leak.

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Parents fight to hold hospital accountable for son’s death

The Queensland Times Brian Bennion

THE grieving parents of a disabled man who died in Ipswich Hospital after being given high doses of narcotics have slammed the hospital for lack of care and poor treatment.
Bundamba man Julian Klass was taken to hospital with severe stomach pains on September 12, 2011, and died 10 days later from aspiration pneumonia caused by high doses of morphine and anti-psychotic drug olanzapine.
Three nurses and two doctors involved in Julian’s care have been referred to their registration boards for further action following an investigation by the Health Quality and Complaints Commission.
Ipswich Hospital delayed reporting the death to the Coroner for five months as an internal investigation after the death found there was a concern that the combination of morphine and olanzapine may have caused such a level of sedation that it caused aspiration, fluid and food in the lungs from the patient being unable to swallow, which led to his death.
The hospital recently offered the family $11,470 settlement to pay for Julian’s funeral, on condition they signed a confidentiality clause and agreed not to take legal action.
The family decided not to accept the money when asked to sign the disclaimer.

In a review of the death by the Clinical Forensic Medicine Unit, Dr Adam Griffin reported to the Coroner he did not agree with the administration of olanzapine and said it appeared to be used as a sedative.
“This would have decreased Julian’s level of consciousness and made an aspiration event more probable,” Dr Griffin said in the Coroner’s report.
Julian’s parents Lester and Marie Klass said there was inadequate monitoring, even after Julian was “comatosed” from the drugs. Mrs Klass said they stayed by Julian’s bedside throughout his ordeal because hospital staff were not giving him the care he needed.

She said a doctor’s recommendation to put Julian on antiobiotics by drip at 7am was not acted on until 5pm that day.
In his investigation Coroner John Hutton criticised Ipswich Hospital for issues in the “medication and overall systemic issues” present at the time of Julian’s death.
The family met with Ipswich Hospital management on a few occasions and allege the hospital admitted to medical negligence. Mrs Klass said the hospital had to be held accountable.
“Julian was our life. No amount of money is going to bring our son back,” she said.
“It’s the ones that don’t have a voice, the infants, the disabled, they seem to get away with it. Disabled people just fall through the cracks.

“We have to make a stand and be his voice because Julian didn’t have a voice. This should never have happened. He should have been monitored more closely when he was sedated with olanzapine.
“It’s as though they don’t think of them (people with a disability) as a normal person. It’s terrible as a mother to sit up there in hospital with your child and they are not given proper care.”
West Moreton Hospital and Health Service CEO Lesley Dwyer said a “Health Passport” for disabled patients, their families and carers was being implemented by West Moreton in response to investigations into the death.
“The Health Passport will help to identify any special needs the individual patient may have, especially if they are not able to communicate verbally,” she said.
“Mr Klass’s family has kindly helped us design this passport and many of their suggestions have been incorporated into the current version, which will now be subject to wider consultation.”

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