Lawsuit: Jail used cold turkey, home remedies for withdrawal treatment [The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester]
|By Mark Hayward, The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Besides the needle marks on his arms, he was high and exhibiting signs of withdrawal, according to medical screening forms that day. He got sick, and guards who dealt with McEvoy noted he was weak, nauseated and "did not look good."
Four days later, he was dead, found in a cell. An autopsy determined McEvoy had died of severe dehydration and kidney failure.
His parents sued the jail. The county's insurer settled and paid
In a stinging review of McEvoy's death, a consultant noted that
"The problem with that particular case was the failure of the system," said Dr.
Many correction facilities use prescription medicine to lessen withdrawal symptoms, and they use an 11-item scale to assess withdrawal, wrote the consultant,
But Ward had his own list of medicines for withdrawal -- Maalox, Tylenol and Kaopectate, the consultant wrote.
Ward admitted during his deposition that he did not know correctional industry standards for inmate health care and had never read the manuals, Moore wrote.
"Dr. Ward did not develop adequate procedures for detoxification and monitoring of inmates. He expected the inmates to quit 'cold turkey,'" Moore wrote.
In its replies to the McEvoy lawsuit, county officials said they relied on Ward's expertise, that they have immunity as government officials, and that McEvoy was in "self-imposed" poor health as a heroin addict and someone with a history of heart and mental-health issues.
In an interview, Jail Superintendent
"We were behind the eight-ball," Dionne said.
In her review, Moore faulted jail nurses for placing McEvoy in the general population, for incomplete examinations, and for not sending him to the hospital when they knew he was dehydrated. Although the nurses claimed in depositions that they took his vital signs, none were recorded.
In the last six years, the county has also settled two other death-related suits.
In 2011, it paid
In 2008, the county paid
(c)2013 The New Hampshire Union Leader (Manchester, N.H.)
Visit The New Hampshire Union Leader (Manchester, N.H.) at www.unionleader.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services