Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Susan Jessica Elsie WINDIE

Inquest into the Death of Susan Jessica Elsie WINDIE


Delivered on : 13 August 2020

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Deputy State Coroner King

Recommendations : N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : Ms Windie died on 29 October 2016 from complication of a rare, life-long condition. She was 22 years old.

Ms Windie was born with genetic abnormalities which predisposed her to recurrent constipation, for which she was treated at Carnarvon Hospital and at tertiary hospitals in the Perth metropolitan area. On 27 October 2016, she was admitted to the Carnarvon Hospital with severe constipation. Doctors contacted Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital to seek advice and to arrange for Ms Windie to be transferred there, but she was kept at Carnarvon Hospital for further management.

On the evening of 28 October 2016, Ms Windie experienced increasing pain and then developed abdominal compartment syndrome from what was later determined to be pseudo-obstruction from faecal impaction. Arrangements were made for her to be transferred to Perth, but by the time the Royal Flying Doctor Service team arrived, her condition was incompatible with survival.

The Coroner concluded that Ms Windie died from a condition that was readily treatable had she been transferred to a tertiary hospital in time. The Coroner did not find that any of the doctors involved with her care acted unreasonably in the circumstances. The Coroner found that, since Ms Windie’s death, there have been improvements to the process of accepting transfers of patients into tertiary hospitals from rural hospitals, and there was a proposed acute patient transport coordination service.

Catch Words : Genetic Abnormality : Pseudo-obstruction : Faecal Impaction : Abdominal Compartment Syndrome : Rural Patient Transfer : Natural Causes

Last updated: 1-Sep-2020

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