Regional doctor sobs over ED ‘chaos’ after woman’s fatal overdose.

The entrance to Gold Coast University Hospital Emergency Department. Picture by Scott Fletcher
The entrance to Gold Coast University Hospital Emergency Department. Picture by Scott Fletcher

THE registrar of the Emergency Department where a woman died from a drug overdose has told of the "very busy" and "chaotic environment" at ground zero of the Gold Coast University Hospital.

Dr Rachel Atkins sobbed when giving evidence at a coronial inquest into the 2014 death of Renae Jean Mann, who died almost 24 hours after it is believed she took an overdose of prescription medication.

The court heard Dr Atkins was considered "a damn good doctor" in the ED and was thus "frequently distracted" and "interrupted constantly" from her own tasks by nurses and other staff seeking her advice on patients in their care.

Dr Atkins said the management of beds in the hospital was "always an issue" but that it was not a factor in the medical decision to move Ms Mann out of the acute care section of the ED to be assessed by mental health staff.

"I don't move patients I'm concerned about into lower monitored areas - I don't care what the bed situation is," she said.

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