Inquest to begin into asylum seeker death
There were good indications Iranian asylum seeker Hamid Kehazaei was suffering from sepsis when he was treated on Manus Island, an inquest has heard.
Mr Kehazaei, 24, died in Brisbane's Mater Hospital after his leg became infected at the processing centre.
He was treated at the facility before being evacuated to a hospital in Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.
He was then airlifted to Brisbane after developing severe septicaemia from an infected cut.
An inquest at Brisbane Coroners Court is investigating the adequacy and appropriateness of the medical treatment Mr Kehazaei received before his death.
He was admitted to the centre’s clinic on August 23, 2014, with a fever, chills, sore throat, runny nose and joint pain.
Paramedic Rafael Cruz said by his second day in the clinic there were a number of “good indications” Mr Kehazaei had sepsis and needed to be transferred to hospital.
“That needs to be treated quite urgently and in a place of higher care,” he told the inquest on Monday.
“I think there was a general consensus on day two that he needed to be in a place of higher care,” he added.
“We were trying to get him out, get him to the hospital on the mainland.
“He was not improving, he was actually getting worse.”
He and another paramedic found an abscess on Mr Kehazaei’s leg on the first night, the inquest was told.
“We only found the sore… because we happened to do a physical exam of him in the night,” he added.
“It was noticeable, it was like an abscess.”
Mr Kehazaei was still talking and walking on his first day in the clinic but was in a wheelchair by the second day, the inquest heard.
“He was very, very sick.
“He was complaining of having a lot of pain from his leg,” Mr Cruz said.
Mr Cruz said infections were “abundant” at the centre because of the remote location, high humidity and daily rain.
Dr Norma Kutson examined Mr Kehazaei when he was first admitted to the clinic and diagnosed him with pharyngitis.
She told the inquest on Monday that she briefly saw a small lesion on his leg but he was only interested in his sore throat.
“He lifted his blanket up and showed me quickly what was on his leg and kept diverting me to address issues about his sore throat," she added.
She said she prescribed antibiotics which would give a blanket cover for infection.
The inquest will continue on Tuesday at 9.30am.