Monday, November 29

ICE did not send a sick detainee to the hospital who later died

(CNN) — A detainee by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) who had an urgent medical need was not sent to the hospital and later died in one of the agency’s detention centers, according to a report from the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security accessed by CNN.

The incident was discovered as part of a surprise remote inspection earlier this year at the Adams County Correctional Facility in Natchez, Mississippi, a facility used to house undocumented immigrants in federal custody.

With the exception of the death in custody, the report found that the facility generally met ICE health care standards, the inspector general found during the inspection that took place in January and February 2021.

“Although the center generally provided sufficient medical care, we identified one case in which the medical unit examined a sick detainee but did not send the detainee to hospital for urgent medical treatment, and the detainee died,” the report says.

Other problems

However, other issues were discovered at the center, such as lack of documentation of sick calls and inconsistency with covid-19 guidelines.

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An ICE detention center.

This is the latest in a series of inspector general reports detailing health and safety violations in federal immigration detention centers, including expired food and shabby toilets, as well as the lack of masks and physical distancing measures that may be contributed to the repeated infections of covid-19.

The most recent report found that, in some cases, the registered nurse at the Adams facility did not write down the arrangements made after the detainee’s doctor visit and that the medical unit did not document the follow-up of the detainee’s laboratory test results. .

The detainee who was not sent to the hospital

On December 17, 2020, a detainee with a history of hypertension requested medical attention due to pain in his chest and arms and was taken to the Adams medical unit, where he was administered medication, oxygen and an electrocardiogram. according to the control body.

The detainee was released and collapsed while waiting to return to his accommodation area.

The medical staff at the Adams Center began CPR and administered epinephrine. Paramedics arrived and carried out resuscitation efforts, but the detainee was pronounced dead, according to the inspector general.

If the Adams center medical staff had compared the 2019 EKG to one taken on December 17, 2020, “it should have prompted medical staff to call 911 and send the detainee to hospital, where life support care would have been easily. available, “concluded a medical professional hired by the inspector general.

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The Adams facility is owned and operated by CoreCivic, a company contracted by ICE to manage the detention facilities.

In 2020, Adams had an average daily population of 710 detainees with a maximum capacity of 2,348, but at the start of the inspection there were 222 detainees there.

As part of the inspection, the inspector general also determined that ICE paid more than $ 17 million for unused bed space based on a minimum contracted payment.

The number of detainees continued to decline during the time of the inspection.

“While ICE must acquire and maintain sufficient bed space to meet the demand of increasing detainee population, it must also strive to strike a balance to avoid wasting funds on empty beds,” the report concluded.

The inspector general issued seven recommendations, including developing emergency care guidelines and updating ICE’s contract with Adams to better identify shelter needs.

ICE agreed with all the recommendations and has already completed several of them.

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