Riley

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Keith (aka Mickey) Riley Presbyterian Section 1 Row 7 Plot 21

10th January 1950

YOUTH NOT SENT TO HOSPITAL

Bed Shortage, Says Doctor At Inquiry.

Although ill enough, a young man injured in an accident had not been taken to hospital because of the shortage of beds, according to a doctor at a Magisterial Inquiry at Gosford Court House on Saturday.

The inquiry was into the death on December 17 of Keith William Riley, of Booker Bay, who was injured in a motor-cycle accident early the previous morning.

Dr. George Craig Duncan, of Gosford, said at the inquiry that he had seen Riley at his surgery at about midday on December 16. He then appeared to be suffering from concussion.

Dr. Duncan said that he treated Riley and had told him to return home, go to bed, and lie flat. He had also told him to report his condition to him in several hours.

Later that afternoon relatives had reported by telephone that Riley was vomiting.

Dr. Duncan said he had ordered Riley’s admission to the Gosford District Hospital.

SHORTAGE OF BEDS

In reply to questions by the District Coroner, Mr. C. J. Staples, Dr. Duncan said:

‘When I first saw Riley, I thought he was ill enough to require admission to hospital for observation, but owing to the acute shortage of hospital beds, it was necessary to observe him at his home for several hours. ‘His people were instructed by me direct to observe certain symptoms, if present, and report them, at once to me. ‘They did so. ‘In my opinion, the cause of death was due to extensive subdural haematoma. There would be a fracture of the skull, in all probability.

‘An X-ray examination would have disclosed the fracture of the skull. I did not at first consider that there was a fracture present.

‘I consider that this boy had all the treatment that could have been given to him in the circumstances.’ The Coroner found that Riley had died at the Gosford District Hospital on December 17 from injuries accidentally received when he fell from his motor-cycle on the Pacific Highway at Niagara Park about 12.30 am on December 16.

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