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Australian Woman Dies After Doctors Send Her Home

A woman who went to hospital complaining of neck pain died just hours after a doctor heard her talking with a nurse and discharged her, an inquest has heard.

Tamika Ullrich, 23, visited the Northam emergency department, east of Perth, in December 2012 and was seen by a nurse, who said she was an ‘uncomplicated patient.’

A Dr who was seated nearby overheard the conversation and prescribed her an anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxant.

‘’Although he never examined her himself, he believed he had overheard enough to gain a sufficient understanding of her history and presenting complaints,' counsel Kate Ellson told the inquest on Monday.  

The doctor testified that he planned to check on Ms Ullrich later but when he returned she had left.

Ms Ullrich’s mother Lorraine Thomas cared for her that night and was continually vomiting. She eventually went to bed at 4:30am.

However, at 6 AM, Ms Ullrich’s mother returned to check on her daughter and found her dead.

The court heard Ms Ullrich was likely to have died from chronic hydrocephalus with brain swelling, but the Coroner is aiming to clarify her cause of death.

Mr King said he would likely find the doctors acts and omissions did not cause or contribute to her death.

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