Anaesthetist says a patient of Dr. Death was 'poisoned by too much potassium'

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Brisbane (Australia), Apr.19 (ANI): The Brisbane trial of former Bundaberg surgeon Dr. Jayant Patel a.k.a. 'Dr. Death', has heard that a patient's heart was poisoned by injection of too much potassium.

While Patel, 60, has pleaded not guilty to unlawfully killing three patients, including renal patient James Phillips, 46, and causing grievous bodily harm to a fourth man, anaesthetist Dr Martin Carter has told the trial that in his review of an electro cardiogram, Phillips's heart was poisoned by potassium.

Patel's trial has previously heard that Phillips was given Hartmann's solution, which contains a high level of potassium, and too much potassium was a problem for renal patients.uring the cross examination, according to ABC, Dr. Carter also told the trial he did not believe the operation was too risky to be performed at Bundaberg or he would have spoken to Patel.

He also agreed that the lack of effective dialysis of Phillips caused his death.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Patel failed to tell Bundaberg Base Hospital's senior anaesthetist about surgical restrictions placed on him in the United States due to repeated negligence.

Giving evidence in the Supreme Court in Brisbane today, Martin Carter said the surgeon told him he was able to competently perform an oesophagectomy on James Edward Phillips in May 2003.

"In terms of this specific case [Dr Patel] said he was capable of performing it," Dr Carter said.

"He said he'd done them in the States and I had no reason to disbelieve him," he added.

However, Dr Carter said he had no idea Dr Patel had been banned from performing oesohagectomies and some abdominal operations in the US without seeking a second opinion.

"Did he tell you anything about his disciplinary history in Oregon?" prosecutor Ross Martin asked.

"No," Dr Carter said.

"Did you know anything about that?"

"No."

Earlier during the trial, the court was told that Dr Patel signed an order in August 2000 that acknowledged he "had made surgical errors" that equated to "gross negligence" while he was working in the US.

Dr Patel, 60, is accused of causing the deaths of three Queensland patients - including Phillips - and permanently injuring another when he performed these types of operations while employed as director of surgery at the Bundaberg Base Hospital between 2003 and 2005.

The trial continues. (ANI)

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