ICE was unable to send the detainee with “urgent” medical need to hospital, who later died

ICE was unable to send the detainee with “urgent” medical need to hospital, who later died

The detainee was released and collapsed while waiting to return to his housing area. On December 17, 2020, a detainee with a history of hypertension requested medical attention due to chest pains and pain in his arms and was taken to the Adams medical unit where he was given medication, oxygen, and an electrocardiogram was performed, according to the watchdog. Adams medical staff initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation and administered epinephrine. Paramedics arrived and performed resuscitation efforts, but the detainee was pronounced dead, according to the IG.

This is the latest in a series of inspector general reports detailing health and safety violations in federal immigration detention, including expired food and dilapidated bathrooms and lack of facial coverings and social distancing that may have contributed to repeated Covid-19 transmissions. However, there were other issues uncovered at the facility, including lack of sick call documentation and inconsistency with Covid-19 guidelines.

The most recent report found that in some cases the registered nurse at the Adams facility was not noting the disposition of the detainee sick call visit and that the medical unit was not documenting follow-up on detainee laboratory test results. “Although the facility 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 the hospital for urgent medical treatment, and the detainee died,” the report reads.

As part of the inspection, the inspector general also determined that ICE paid more than $17 million for unused bed space based on a contracted minimum payment. The number of detainees continued to decline during the time of the inspection. 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 people detained there.

The Adams facility is owned and operated by CoreCivic, a company contracted by ICE for detention facilities. Had the Adams medical staff compared the 2019 electrocardiogram with one conducted on December 17, 2020, “it should have prompted the medical staff to call 911 and send the detainee to the hospital where life support care would have been readily available,” concluded a medical professional contracted by the inspector general.

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  • ICE was unable to send the detainee with “urgent” medical need to hospital, who later died
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