Poisoned inmate doomed himself: doctor

The outcome would have been the same for an inmate who died from methanol poisoning even if he had been sent to hospital sooner, a doctor has testified.

The outcome would have been the same for an inmate who died from methanol poisoning even if he had been sent to hospital sooner, a doctor has testified.

Dr. John Bromley, who was conducting medical rounds at the Red Deer Remand Centre on Feb. 20, 2007, told a fatality inquiry that he doubted the outcome would have been different for Boris Leon Marianych, 51, of Red Deer.

The inquiry started in April and resumed with Bromley’s testimony on Tuesday.

Bromley told provincial court Judge Bert Skinner that testing, which could only have been conducted in a hospital, was required to properly assess Marianych. Tests would include a CAT scan and an examination for gas in arterial blood.

He said the tests take time even under hospital conditions.

Court heard earlier that methanol in the body produces formic acid, which attacks major organs. Once poisoning symptoms appear, the victim’s health deteriorates quickly.

Bromley said in his 32 years of practice, he’s never encountered a methanol poisoning case.

Marianych was arrested the day before his death by RCMP on an outstanding warrant.

Bromley said a nurse told him that Marianych had vision problems.

He said the man needed to be taken to the hospital but it wasn’t considered an emergency by the nurse. “My assumption was he would be taken to emergency.”

Bromley said he didn’t know until later that Marianych couldn’t be taken by remand staff because of short staffing. Remand protocol requires two officers accompany a prisoner to hospital. Another officer had to be called in.

A nurse testified earlier that when she checked Marianych about 8:45 a.m. on Feb. 20, she found a slightly elevated blood pressure but his breathing and temperature were normal.

Registered nurse Shelly Grant testified that Marianych needed to be sent to hospital but his condition wasn’t considered an emergency.

Grant, who has been a nurse for 38 years, said she believed the vision problem was because he was experiencing alcohol detoxification.

Grant said she had never cared for a person with methanol poisoning and didn’t know its symptoms.

Grant said she talked to psychologist Bruce Handley of Red Deer, who was asked to examine Marianych for possible mental health problems.

Bromley said he was told by the nurse that Marianych was “talking in a confused or strange way and had some complaint about his vision.”

Grant testified that Handley also said Marianych should be examined in hospital.

The judge was told earlier that centre policy has changed regarding officers checking inmates in the discharge and admitting area following an earlier internal review.

The policy is now for officers to check every 15 minutes on an inmate’s condition.

Dr. Peter Singer, deputy chief toxicologist for the Alberta Medical Examiners’s Office, said earlier that drinking methanol in small amounts is dangerous. Singer said methanol raises the acid level in the body and can blind a person and impair breathing.

Skinner will prepare a report for the provincial attorney general and possibly make recommendations to help prevent similar incidents.

He is prohibited from making findings of responsibility.


Just Posted

Red Deer group looking to keep roads safe for cyclists

A Red Deer cycling group is concerned about road safety after multiple… Continue reading

Smoke and pets do not mix

Take care of your pets during the smoky weather

Former Red Deer lawyer sentenced

Charges included possession of stolen property

Man causes mischief with axe in Ponoka

Arson and attempted break and enter charges laid

WATCH: Raising money for kids at the Gord Bamford Charity Golf Classic

Former NHL players, Olympians, pro rodeo circuit members and musicians teed off… Continue reading

Oilpatch fears delays as U.S. judge orders further review of KXL pipeline route

CALGARY — Potential delays in the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline… Continue reading

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin dies at 76

NEW YORK — Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul” who sang… Continue reading

Arrests in Burnaby, B.C., as order against Kinder Morgan protest camp enforced

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP arrested protesters Thursday as officers enforced a… Continue reading

‘Hot and dirty work:’ Commander describes fighting massive Ontario wildfire

BRITT, Ont. — From a helicopter flying over a smouldering swath of… Continue reading

Calgary Fire Department logs record opioid overdose calls in July

CALGARY — The Calgary Fire Department says there were a record number… Continue reading

RCMP in Burnaby, B.C., say Kinder Morgan protest camp to be dismantled

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP arrested protesters when officers enforced a court… Continue reading

Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

NEW YORK — If you quit smoking and gain weight, it may… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month