Former Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel (left) leaves the court with barrister Kenneth Fleming.
Former Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel (left) leaves the court with barrister Kenneth Fleming.

Crown argues rectal bleeding points to Patel's misdiagnosis

AFTER experiencing rectal bleeding for years, something must have been noticeably different to prompt Mervyn John Morris to front Bundaberg Hospital's emergency department, a court has heard.

Mr Morris underwent an operation with former surgeon Jayant Patel in May 2003 to have part of his colon removed to stop the bleeding.

Mr Morris, 75, died a few weeks later in post-operative care.

Specialist physician Dr Dawid Smalberger told the Supreme Court, where Patel is on trial for manslaughter, that Mr Morris had passed small amounts of blood since undergoing radiation treatment for prostate cancer.

"He got used to it and it was not new to him," he said on Wednesday.

"Obviously, something must have been different and this could not have been the small amount of blood he had been passing every day for years."

Dr Smalberger said radiation proctitis - inflammation resulting from radiation treatment - was present in Mr Morris since his cancer treatment.

The Crown argues Patel misdiagnosed Mr Morris with diverticular disease instead of identifying Mr Morris as suffering from radiation proctitis, which the Crown claims was causing the rectal bleeding.

The jury heard Mr Morris suffered from varying medical conditions, including heart problems following an earlier heart attack.

But Dr Smalberger stated the heart condition was a reason why Mr Morris should have undergone an operation.

Dr Smalberger explained Mr Morris could be prone to further problems due to his history of blocked arteries and heart problems.

The trial continues.



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