Lucas’s Law could go statewide

LUCAS'S Law could be implemented across the state, with Queensland Health to consider the recommendations handed down in the wake of Lucas Faram's death.

On Wednesday, Townsville University Hospital released the recommendations from a report that found Lucas would still be alive if doctors had treated him appropriately.

The report, compiled by Townsville University Hospital, found that if a CT scan was completed earlier, it would have shown Lucas's ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt was not working.

State Health Minister Yvette D'Ath yesterday said she was aware of the recommendations from the internal review.

Now Clinical Excellence Queensland, a body within Queensland Health that works with health services, clinicians, and consumers to deliver improvements in patient care, will consider them.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D'Ath speaking at a press conference. Pics Tara Croser.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D'Ath speaking at a press conference. Pics Tara Croser.

Lucas's mum Gelria Faram has been fighting for Lucas's Law, which would mean every child with a VP shunt who presents at Townsville University Hospital be considered for a shunt malfunction and urgently escalated to a senior doctor for decision making.

The new process will mean senior doctors will prioritise a CT scan for children to check their shunt is working.

Ms D'Ath said she wanted to pass on her condolences to the family.

"This is a very, very sad set of circumstances. No one ever wants to lose a child, and when something like this happens and there's a review, we must learn from these situations," Ms D'Ath said.

Lucas Faram.
Lucas Faram.

"The three recommendations have already been accepted by the Townsville Hospital and Health Service, and I welcome that.

"These recommendations will now go to Clinical Excellence Queensland and they will be looking at how they can optimise those recommendations for the rest of the state.

The hospital will also improve awareness of how cognitive biases, which was a contributor to Lucas's death, impact clinical decision-making care.

It will also improve the care and management of children with a VP shunt.

Mundingburra MP Les Walker, who introduced a petition into parliament calling for Lucas's Law to be implemented across the state, said he had spoken with and expressed his condolences to the Faram family.

"A clinical case review was undertaken.

"And the three recommendations from that review will be fully implemented by THHS," Mr Walker said. 

Originally published as Lucas's Law could go statewide