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Cyprus Health

UK coroner slams local clinic for ‘entirely avoidable’ death

Kalisha Gordon died after doctors misdiagnosed her ectopic pregnancy

By Nathan Morley

A YOUNG woman may have survived if staff at a Paralimni clinic had not made a series of failures in diagnosis and treatment, a British coroner has ruled.

The circumstances surrounding the death of Kalisha Gordon, 21, was heard on Tuesday at Gloucester Coroner’s Court.

Kalisha was on a working holiday in Ayia Napa in 2008, when she fell seriously ill and rushed to the Lito clinic suffering from severe vomiting, chest pain and loss of consciousness.

She died less than 12-hours later, leaving friends and family devastated.

It was later established that Kalisha died as a result of a haemorrhage shock due to a rupture of her right ovary caused by an ectopic pregnancy, which was not spotted by medical staff.

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg implants itself outside the womb.

The clinic had claimed Kalisha died of heart attack, with the duty doctor claiming he carried out a number of tests and did nothing wrong.

On Tuesday, Gloucester Coroner’s Court slammed the clinic for failures made by medical staff to recognise or diagnose the young woman.

“At no stage was the ectopic pregnancy diagnosed and at no stage was she treated for it. The first stage they were aware of the ectopic pregnancy was when the post mortem was carried out,” said coroner Katy Skerrett.

“There was a failure to diagnose and a failure to treat an ectopic pregnancy by medical authorities approached by Kalisha. This was a tragic accident that was entirely avoidable.”

Kalisha’s father Lloyd told the Cyprus Mail that it had taken the family six years to finally get the truth about their daughter’s death.

“Kalisha died in such a tragic way needlessly and for the past six years the Cyprus Medical Association, and the Cypriot authorities have just ignored us,” Gordon said.

“If we send our children on holiday, and the worst happens, then surely parents should not have to fight for six years just for answers.”

The British coroner’s verdict comes after the family endured a long battle for a local inquest, which was eventually held in 2011 – four years after her death.

Judge Christos Philipou established that gross negligence on the part of the doctor and procedures at the clinic contributed to her death.

He said that faults in communication between the nurses at the clinic and the treating doctor were also to blame, adding that if proper care had been administered it is probable that Kalisha would have survived.

To make matters worse, Judge Philipou also stated that there were missing documents in the case medical file which warranted investigation by the police.

In 2011, the local inquest findings were referred to the former Attorney General Petros Clerides with a recommendation to pursue a criminal investigation, but he ruled that no action would be taken due to ‘insufficient evidence’.

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