Hospital waiting list blamed for woman's death

A CORONER'S report has found a 66-year-old Poona woman, who died the day before she was scheduled to have a cancerous kidney removed, had waited "an excessive period for surgery".

Sylvia Crane and her husband Kevin were staying at their daughter's home in Macgregor in October, 2012, as Mrs Crane awaited surgery at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.

On the morning of October 4, her husband became concerned when she had not emerged from the shower after about 15 minutes.

Mr Crane found his wife collapsed on the floor and attempts to revive her failed.

Mrs Crane had been diagnosed with kidney cancer in May 2012 after attending Maryborough Hospital with lesions on her hands.

A CT scan revealed a renal 6.5cm tumour in her right kidney.

On August 21, Mrs Crane was booked for surgery on October 5 but in September, she was admitted to Hervey Bay Hospital for four days.

A CT scan showed her tumour had grown to 7.6cm.

According to the coroner's report, a doctor at the Hervey Bay Hospital contacted the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital and advice was given to stick with the original plan of surgery on October 5, unless her condition worsened.

Mrs Crane was noted as being emotional and anxious during the admission, with notes from Hervey Bay Hospital revealing she was worried about her cancer and the operation's delay.

The Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital conducted two internal reviews into Mrs Crane's death, with both concluding her waiting time was excessive.

In the conclusion of his findings, Deputy State Coroner John Lock said there were significant wait-list management issues at the time of Mrs Crane's referral, which resulted in her waiting an excessive time for surgery.

He acknowledged the rapid spread of her disease was rare but said it was possible earlier surgical intervention may have prevented her death.

Mr Lock said the wait-list management issues that delayed Mrs Crane's surgery had been comprehensively reviewed by the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, which had led to significant changes by the hospital's Department of Urology.

"These new processes appear to have had a significantly positive effect on urology wait-lists," Mr Lock said in his findings.

Mr Lock said there would not be in inquest into Mrs Crane's death because the investigation had revealed enough information to enable him to make findings about her death.

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