‘Sudden coughing’ before fitness fanatic collapsed

A MAN who was due to be discharged from the intensive care unit of a Sydney hospital following treatment for pneumonia suddenly deteriorated and died in 2014, an inquest has heard.

Philip Ibrahim, 39, suffered a brain injury due to air bubbles entering his bloodstream via an uncapped part of a catheter line, counsel assisting the coroner Maria Gerace told Glebe Coroner's Court on Tuesday.

The four-day inquest will examine the management of the father-of-two in Concord Hospital on October 27 and 28 including why an order to remove his central venous line was not followed.

 

Phillip Ibrahim with his children Soliman and Sahara. Picture: Supplied
Phillip Ibrahim with his children Soliman and Sahara. Picture: Supplied

Mr Ibrahim, a health and fitness fanatic, presented to the hospital on October 17 with bronchopneumonia.

Doctors ordered a central venous access device - or line - be inserted into his right neck vein "to facilitate the administration of medication to Philip and monitoring of his central venous pressure," Ms Gerace said.

By October 28, his respiration had shown "some improvement", and he had remained stable overnight.

But that afternoon, while sitting in a recliner, chatting and eating food provided by his visiting brother, Peter, Mr Ibrahim made a "sudden coughing sound" and collapsed.

Dr Nagesh Jadav raced to Mr Ibrahim's room but found he was showing "significant neurological compromise".

Philip Ibrahim's father Mohsen Ibrahim outside Glebe Coroner's Court yesterday. Picture:AAP
Philip Ibrahim's father Mohsen Ibrahim outside Glebe Coroner's Court yesterday. Picture:AAP

"Philip was not responding to any commands and was very rigid in all his limbs ... he had his eyes rolling upwards," Dr Jadav testified on Tuesday.

A registered nurse noticed a "chook's foot" - a multi-flow attachment - on Mr Ibrahim's CVAD was disconnected and "open" to air, Ms Gerace said.

Dr Jadav said he formed the opinion Mr Ibrahim's sudden deterioration was most likely due to air embolism.

Mr Ibrahim was transferred to Prince of Wales Hospital for hyperbaric treatment but was placed on life support with "signs of very severe brain damage" and died on October 30.

Widow Leanne Whichelo and children Soliman Ibrahim and Sahara. Picture Darren Leigh Roberts
Widow Leanne Whichelo and children Soliman Ibrahim and Sahara. Picture Darren Leigh Roberts

Outside court on Tuesday, Mohsen Ibrahim told reporters his son had been an "affable, personable and charismatic" man.

"This preventable death has left a six-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl without the care, love, support or guidance of a father for the rest of their lives," he said.

"Part of the coroner's role is to protect lives by bringing to the notice of relevant authorities any procedures, regulations (or) laws which could be changed to prevent similar deaths in the future.

"I hope this inquest achieves that objective."



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