A Utah man convicted of rape died in prison of a heart attack related to kidney failure on April 5 after a dialysis provider failed to show up for scheduled treatment two days in a row.
Ramon C. Estrada, 62, was three weeks away from being released on parole when he died of renal failure at the prison in Draper, Utah, the Daily Mail reported.
Estrada was scheduled to have a dialysis on April 3 at the prison facility’s treatment center, but the technician never showed up. Another appointment was set for the following day, but the technician failed to arrive again.
University of Utah Hospital spokeswoman Kathy Wilets said there appears to have been some miscommunication with technician scheduling and the hospital is conducting a “thorough” investigation.
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“We have a responsibility to provide quality care for patients,” Wilets said in a statement. “We will now conduct a thorough review of the circumstances that led to this unacceptable mistake and will take whatever steps are necessary to improve communications and procedures.”
Utah Department of Corrections spokeswoman Brooke Adams said the Medical Examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause of Estrada’s death, but an initial review suggests that the lack of treatment played a role.
Adams added that she did not know whether prison staff made an effort to contact the no-show technicians and that it was part of the ongoing investigation.
The prison’s clinical services director has been placed on leave as the corrections department’s law enforcement bureau conducts its investigation.
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The department is taking steps to avoid a repeat of Estrada’s unfortunate situation. It is hoping to ensure prison staff has the contact number of the technicians scheduled to provide treatment and that they report on inmate conditions, Adams said.
The Unified Police Department is also investigating the matter. Lt. Justin Hoyal said investigators are waiting for autopsy results to confirm the cause of death, but did not find any signs of foul play in Estrada’s cell.
Estrada had been in prison since August 2005 on a rape charge, Adams said. He was set be paroled on April 21.
It is believed that Estrada was in the country illegally so he would have been turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service upon release, Adams added.
Source: Daily Mail
Photo Credit: Utah Department of Corrections via Daily Mail