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No access to records as Socceroo was dying

AAP logoAAP 27/10/2016 Rick Goodman

A former Socceroo who suffered an agonising death in an Adelaide hospital had a "not for resuscitation" status but medical staff had trouble accessing his records and attempted CPR, a nurse says.

Steve Herczeg died in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on September 19 because his urinary catheter had somehow become attached to an oxygen supply, bursting his bladder and collapsing his lungs.

Enrolled nurse Kayla Woodward has told an inquest that medical staff performed CPR for about 13 minutes before she gained access to the electronic patient records, and efforts to revive Mr Herczeg were stopped.

Ms Woodward had another staff member helping her but the state-wide system, known as the Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS), was not working.

"At the time a colleague was trying to help me get into the EPAS system, just trying to get it to load up," she told the South Australian Coroner's Court on Friday.

"But it wasn't loading. We were trying to load on two laptops at the same time."

Ms Woodward was the nurse who administered to Mr Herczeg after he was transferred from the emergency department to the respiratory ward, the inquest heard.

This was despite instructions from the patient's home medical team to avoid oxygen therapy unless his saturation levels fell.

Ms Woodward said she had not known about the instruction and her nursing team leader did not oppose the decision to administer oxygen.

Mr Herczeg was in his own room when he called out in pain and nurses rushed to his aid, calling a code blue emergency.

The police report found it was "probable" the patient had caused the fatal catheter mix-up himself.

Coroner Mark Johns on Thursday criticised police for not fingerprinting the catheter bag which he said could have determined if the 72-year-old had handled it.

Mr Herczeg was the first South Australian to play in a FIFA World Cup qualifying match for Australia, lining up against North Korea in Cambodia in 1965.

He was suffering from lung cancer but was admitted to hospital because of a fall and had also been hallucinating as a result of a urinary tract infection.

The inquest continues.

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