An inquest into the death in custody of a 36-year old Indigenous man due to an asthma attack has heard the nurse treating him assumed he had overdosed on drugs.

Nathan Reynolds died in John Moroney Correctional Centre in September 2018 and an inquest into his death is being heard this week.

On Monday the inquest heard from an inmate who tried to save Mr Reynold’s life that his condition worsened after a nurse attending the incident treated him as if he was overdosing on drugs.

The inmate, Jeremy Preo, told the inquest the nurse “slapped and shook” Mr Reynolds and questioned inmates on what substances he had taken.

Lawyers for Mr Reynolds’s family say an autopsy found he had been given a drug usually used to treat an opioid overdose.

The inquest is set to hear from more inmates, nurses, corrections officers and a respiratory specialist and expected to run into next week.