Society

Inmate Claims Baby Died Because Jail Ignored Her Cries For Help In Solitary Confinement

| by Kathryn Schroeder

An inmate in the Wichita County Jail has filed a lawsuit claiming her baby died because she was forced to give birth in solitary confinement without any assistance.

Nicole Guerrero, the plaintiff, was arrested on June 2, 2012 on a drug possession charge. She was pregnant at the time of her arrest, reports Independent Mail.

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On June 11, 2012 Guerrero had a doctor’s appointment where she heard the baby’s heartbeat, was told she was 34 weeks pregnant, and not experiencing any complications. She was prescribed one medication and one supplement.

At around 6:30 p.m. the same day Guerrero claims she experienced labor-like symptoms, but the registered nurse working at the jail, Ladonna Anderson, listened to the baby’s heartbeat and sent Guerrero back to her cell.

At 11 p.m. the labor pains intensified and Guerrero called for help.

“Recognizing that something was wrong, Plaintiff pushed the medical emergency button, seeking assistance for her worsening condition. Plaintiff continued to push the medical emergency button, but her requests for help were ignored until 3:30 a.m.,” the lawsuit alleges.

Guerrero was taken to the nurse station at around 3:30 a.m. and Anderson allegedly did not examine her. She told her she was having complications from the medication the doctor prescribed.

The lawsuit claims Anderson told Guerrero she was not in labor, reports WPTV.

Guerrero was sent back to her solitary confinement cell.

The pain worsened throughout the night but Guerrero's calls for help were left unanswered. Reportedly, Anderson walked by her cell at 5:00 a.m. and ignored her screams.

Guerrero claims she could feel the baby’s head emerging.

A detention duty officer eventually came to her aid and helped deliver her daughter. The umbilical cord was wrapped around the infant’s neck and she was dark purple.

A few minutes later Anderson entered Guerrero’s cell and held the baby, patting its back until emergency medical staff arrived some 20 minutes later.

“Just to let you know, I had to unwrap the cord from the baby’s neck, and as long as we don’t cut the cord, she’s gonna have some bit of oxygen to help her,” the lawsuit quotes Anderson as saying. “Defendant Anderson then proceeded to wrap the baby in Plaintiff’s inmate towel, but did not make any attempt to revive her by CPR or any other method, although the baby was unresponsive and had a dark purple complexion.”

Guerrero and the baby were taken to United Regional Healthcare Systems hospital.

The baby was pronounced dead on June 12, 2012 at 6:30 a.m, less than two hours after she was born.

Anderson’s registered nursing license expired January 31, 2012.

The lawsuit for breaching the duty of care owed to her, and medical malpractice, is against Wichita County, Sheriff David Duke, Correctional Healthcare Management, Inc., and Ladonna Anderson.

Guerreo is currently serving three sentences for two drug possession charges and a theft charge. She should be released at the end of July, 2014.