Former Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel
Former Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel Darryn Smith

Patient's life was at risk: Patel

JAYANT Patel believes a patient who died weeks after his operation could have been at risk of dying from a major rectal bleed.

Mervyn John Morris was admitted to Bundaberg Base Hospital after suffering two major bleeds in 2003.

Patel operated on the 75-year-old and removed part of his sigmoid colon after diagnosing him with diverticulitis.

The former Bundaberg surgeon appeared calm and confident as he gave evidence during his manslaughter trial on Wednesday.

He said he told Mr Morris, prior to his operation, the chance of another major bleed increased with each bleeding episode.

"If he was at home (for major bleed) he might not make it to hospital in time," Patel said.

Patel said Morris's pathology showed diverticulitis.

"His bleeding pattern was, in my opinion, very classic of diverticulitis," he said.

Patel said he agreed on a plan to dissect the diverticular part of the colon and conduct a sigmoid colostomy and colectomy.

Patel said he did not know if Mr Morris could tolerate a further major bleed because of his heart condition.

The Crown argued Patel should not have recommended Mr Morris's operation because of his heart condition, liver problems and poor malnutrition.

Patel told the Supreme Court, however, he thought Mr Morris was generally fairly healthy.

Asked whether he remembered Mr Morris, Patel said Mr Morris was a "very pleasant and honorable man".

"He didn't complain about anything," he said. Patel has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter.

Mr Morris died in post operative care on June 14, 2003.

The trial continues.


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