Hills said she was alarmed upon learning of Nelson’s low blood pressure and heart rate, revealing the new arrival was disoriented, incoherent, complaining of stomach pains and fainting and losing consciousness.
Questioned by attorney assisting coroner Sharon Lacey, Hills said that during Nelson’s initial medical examination, which lasted just 13 minutes, the doctor failed to carry out basic health checks, including on the detainee’s chest, heart and abdomen, nor subjected her to examination. table.
But a medical form, presented to the inquest, showed entries had been made for each of those categories, including that Nelson weighed 40.7 kilograms, contrary to his autopsy reading of 33 kilograms.
Hills said it was not possible that these assessments were made, with the doctor remaining seated in his chair throughout the examination as Hills attempted to hold Nelson upright. She said Nelson couldn’t even walk to the scales to be weighed and was slumped in a chair during the exam.
Nelson was told to sign a healthcare consent form, but Hills said she was never told what she was signing and the nurse had to help her hold the pen.
“[Nelson] did not understand the questions put to him. She could barely respond or speak,” Hills said.
Shortly after this interaction, the inquest learned that Runacres allowed Nelson to be transferred out of the hospital and into a general population cell in Yarra’s unit.
Going into her reminiscences, Hills revealed that it wasn’t the first time she felt Runacres failed to complete a full and proper assessment of newcomers to prison.
“There was no full health assessment,” Hills said.
Nelson’s friends and family sobbed and wiped away tears as details of his last interactions with staff came to light during the inquest.
Hills cried saying that when the doctor left the prison at 5:30 p.m., she defied his orders and told night staff to keep Nelson in a medical cell overnight.
Ultimately, however, Nelson was transferred to the Yarra unit approximately 24 hours later, where she later died.
An autopsy revealed she had Wilkie syndrome, which restricts a person’s arteries.
On Monday, Hills said that despite her concerns for Nelson, a “medical hierarchy” meant she did not defy the doctor and call an ambulance.
“The doctor decided she was well enough to stay in jail and not go to the hospital, so I was guided by that,” she said.
Runacres is expected to testify on Wednesday.
The investigation is continuing.
The images and audio contained in this story were released to the media with the permission of the family. For 24/7 crisis support, run by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, contact 13YARN (13 92 76).