ER doctors missed knife blade in skull: Murder trial. Fatal damage was already done, pathologist testifies
By Sue Montgomery
The Gazette, March 24, 2006
Doctors at Lakeshore General Hospital didn't notice a 9.5-centimetre knife blade lodged in Kelly-Anne Drummond's skull the night she was brought to the emergency room by ambulance, a Quebec Superior Court murder trial heard yesterday.
It wasn't until the 24-year-old was transferred to Montreal General Hospital that a brain scan revealed the blade, whose handle had snapped off, the pathologist who conducted an autopsy on Drummond testified.
"But the damage was already irreversible" when she arrived at the Lakeshore, said Andre Lauzon, who examined Drummond on Oct. 6, 2004, three days after she had been found in a pool of blood in the kitchen of the Pierrefonds apartment she shared with her boyfriend, Martin Morin-Cousineau, 31.
Morin-Cousineau is charged with second-degree murder.
Lauzon, who works for the Quebec coroner's office, told the seven-man, five-woman jury the blade entered the base of Drummond's skull between two vertebrae, cutting the spinal cord.
She died on Oct. 5, when life support was removed.
The court has already heard that Morin-Cousineau told police he was sitting on the sofa when he heard something fall, then found Drummond bleeding on the kitchen floor and called 911.
Judging from photos taken at the scene, Lauzon estimated Drummond lost between 1.5 and two litres of blood.
Crown prosecutor Helene Di Salvo suggested Morin-Cou-sineau did not call 911 right away.
"Could a person lose that much in seven minutes?" she asked Lauzon, referring to the time it took for paramedics to arrive after Morin-Cousineau's call.
"I believe it would take longer than that to lose so much blood," Lauzon replied.
Defence lawyer Sacha Blais pointed out that photos were taken at the scene until 28 minutes after 911 was called. Lauzon conceded it was possible such a large amount of blood could be lost in that time.
The trial continues Monday.