Inquest investigates death of Australian woman after wellness scan

2021 05 07 16 57 0311 Business Magnifying Glass Documents 400

Australian authorities are investigating the death of a Melbourne woman who died from a contrast reaction during a heart CT scan as part of a workplace wellness program for senior executives, according to a May 6 article in the Age.

Peta Hickey died eight days after the heart CT scan, having experienced an anaphylactic reaction resulting in multiple organ failure, according to the story. She received the scan as part of a wellness program started by her employer after a colleague nearly died of a heart attack.

The inquest is focusing on the radiologist on duty at the time of the scan, Dr. Gavin Tseng of Future Medical Imaging Group. Tseng was in charge of speaking with Hickey before injecting the contrast, and he told investigators that he initially thought she was having an intracranial reaction and allegedly was unaware seizures were a symptom of severe anaphylaxis.

Hickey wasn't given potentially lifesaving adrenaline because Tseng said he could not do two things at once -- instructing center staff in administering adrenaline while he was managing her airway support, according to the story.

Tseng said the staff on hand were administrative and radiography personnel and not medical practitioners. He also said that only one medical practitioner or nurse is assigned to Future Medical Imaging Group clinics at any one time.

A three-week inquest into the death will continue on Friday.

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