Case Archive
Correctional Health-care
Ref. # 340401

A 61-year-old was sentenced to 60 days in the county jail for DUI. His medical history included diabetes and a stroke one year earlier. His prescribed medication to be taken once a day included Precose, Plavix, Monopril, Phenobarbitol, Vitamin E (400) and Prevacid. At incarceration, the man signed a release authorizing the jail to provide medical treatment. A "Report of Medical History" made no reference to the prisoner's stroke or that he was subject to seizures. The man claimed the officers at the jail did not give him his medication as prescribed-it was often given several hours after a meal instead of before. One month into his incarceration the man complained that his head felt as if it were about to explode and asked the officers to check his blood sugar. After several attempts, the officers obtained a reading of 395. The next afternoon the man experienced headaches and his ankles were swollen. He was examined for the first time by a physician, who had treated him before privately and was aware of his history. The physician placed the man on an 1800-calorie diabetic diet and medication schedule. Two weeks later, proper instructions for administering the medication were provided. After release, the man asserted his vision had deteriorated and he continued to suffer headaches. A medQuest board-certified internist who is licensed in correctional health-care reported that the jail negligently failed to conduct a "full health appraisal" of the inmate within 14 days of admission, as stipulated in its own rule book. If the man's assertions were true, the jail and physician were deliberately indifferent to his known serious medical condition. They were unprepared to administer adequate care and their documentation indicated a lack of concern. Any damages suffered as a result should never have occurred.

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