At least 12 people have died of diabetes in prisons and prisons in Georgia where they received no treatment that would have kept them healthy over the past decade.
Their blood sugars narrowed to many times the normal range, they were lightly refused insulin, and their symptoms were rejected by guards and staff members who wrote off incoherence and days of vomiting as drug abuse or mental illness.
About 2.3 million Americans are locked up in the huge American prison system, where their health is often neglected and care is extremely expensive.
For at least 12 men and women, the prison was a death sentence, regardless of their crimes, but because their treatable disease was ignored, a new one Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation reveals.
Willie Whaley died at the age of 31 in the Georgia State Prison for diabetic ketoacidosis (AKD). He received insulin for two days and denied the injections when he tested positive for methamphetamine in the prison's medical center.
The US has the largest population of detained people in the world.
In fact, there are about as many Americans in prisons, prisons, and other correction systems as there are people throughout the country of Botswana (and about twice as many as live in Cyprus).
But if the prison system is stretched and grown, care for the people who live in it should not exist, and their neglect is not only harmful to prisoners, but also to the health of the population in general.
The rates of both mental and chronic illness are much higher among prisoners than among the general population.
During admission, people go to jail and prisons are supposed to undergo a medical examination and continue or start receiving medication or treatments that are suitable to treat their conditions.
But guidelines for correctional facilities say that a prisoner must be examined and that his or her medical history must be taken within 14 days of taking it.
& # 39; And of course, someone with type 1 diabetes will die & # 39; without insulin for two weeks, says Dr. Daniel Lorber, president of the National Advocacy Committee of the American Diabetes Association.
Willie Whaley was admitted to the Georgia State prison in December 2017, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported.
Willie Green III (left) had been in need of insulin since he was twenty, but died of DKA in a hospital less than two weeks after being booked into Fulton County prison in 2017. After breaking his probationary period, Paul Mullinax (right) lost his life to diabetes-related complications
He was nauseous and vomiting – early signs of a diabetes-related condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
The first two days he was in the medical world, Willie, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a child, received insulin.
But then Willie started talking nonsense. The suspected staff of the correctional facility therapist tested him.
When the screen was positive for methamphetamines, medical staff stopped giving Willie insulin.
It is unclear which other diabetes medicines Willie may have had, but one of the most common prescriptions, Metformin, is known to occasionally stand out as a false positive drug screen.
Three days after she came to the medical center, Willie was dead.
He has never been reset to insulin and has never seen a doctor, according to the AJC.
At 41, Douglas Brown (left) died in 2013 from DKA after just 11 days in Fulton County Prison in Georgia. taff at Hays State Prison finally realized that Esteban Mosqueda-Romero (right), 63, was sick and brought him to a hospital, but it was too late for him to recover from DKA
But an autopsy cited his diabetes medical history and revealed that Willie's blood sugar level was five times higher than what it should have been for a 31-year-old.
Willie & # 39; s mother, Rebecca Hill, is planning a lawsuit against her son's death facility.
A typical person with type 1 diabetes needs at least two insulin shots to keep their blood sugar levels stable. Some need no fewer than four a day.
Without insulin, the body cannot properly process glucose to activate cells, so the sugars remain in the blood.
Desperately, the body begins to hunt for fat stores, which produce acidic compounds called ketones in the blood. These can accumulate and become toxic, leading to a diabetic coma or even death, as was the case with these prisoners.
The symptoms of ketoacidosis occur quickly, in just 24 hours.
But the response of medical staff in correctional facilities is often anything but quick.
Wickie Bryant struggled with mental illness and often refused her diabetes medication. But the Atlanta detention center did not follow her closely, a report suggests. She had been dead for hours against DKA by the time her body was discovered
By the time 55-year-old Wickie Bryant was found in the Atlanta detention center in 2015, her body was in complete rigor mortis, indicating that she was probably dead for at least three hours, despite the protocol of the hourly check facility, according to to the researcher's report.
She had a history of type 1 diabetes, a mental illness, and a tendency to refuse to take her medication. But that was all the more reason that she had to be closely monitored by the correctional facility – not dead for hours.
Barnes Nowlin Jr. missed a court date for a traffic case in 2008 and lost his life for it.
The 39-year-old diabetic truck driver had three different pills to control his condition, and his wife brought them all to Whitfield County jail after he was arrested, the AJC reported.
But it seems that his medication was not consistently administered, and after only three days in prison, Barnes had broken over and was too weak to get up.
A nurse was reportedly asked to check him a number of times, but she & # 39; ignored & # 39; these requests, according to the AJC.
Barnes Nowlin was ignored for hours by a prison practice before the death of the 39-year-old in 2008, despite several requests to someone to check the weak, vomiting prisoner
Barnes' death was ruled as murder by an investigating coroner, but no criminal case was brought, and the civil case his wife had brought against prison was eventually rejected.
At least nine more people, including 41-year-old Douglas Brown, 33-year-old David Fletcher, 63-year-old Esteban Mosqueda-Romero, 58-year-old Lindsey Ruffin, Jr., and 55-year-old Paul Mullinax, died the same terrible deaths in Georgia prisons and prisons.
However, the phenomenon is not limited to the southern state.
Weirdly similar cases have been reported in Tennessee, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Illinois and Arkansas.
Dr. Lorber has worked on a number of these cases, including a woman who & # 39; was ignored until death & # 39 ;, he says, although he could not reveal details of her identity or location without the consent of the family.
Lindsey Ruffin Jr. (left) died at 55 after suffering for at least a week when DKA grabbed his body. David Fletcher Jr. (right) was imprisoned in 2012. He quickly began to act irregularly and was found dead from DKA, covered with his own vomit within a week
David Fletcher Jr. missed child support payments and was imprisoned in 2012. He quickly started to act irregularly and was found dead by DKA, covered with his own vomit within a week. & # 39; She was imprisoned for 17 days for violation of her conditional release or something reasonable under age, & he said.
& # 39; After about three days (during which they had somewhat ignored her, the doctor came to see her when she was lying on the floor, soaked in her urine, and saw her through the door of her cell eight meters away. & # 39;
That was the extent of the medical attention the woman received.
Last year, the ADA signed a class-action lawsuit against one of the largest prison management companies in the US, CoreCivic, claiming that the neglect of about 60 prisoners treated with insulin treated diabetes at its facilities in Tennessee & # 39; cruel and unusual punishments & # 39; formed. & # 39;
Those 60 people belong to an estimated 206,770 prisoners whose diabetes requires constant blood glucose monitoring, frequent insulin injections, and oral medication.
And an unknowable number already died miserable, avoidable dead behind bars, simply because they received no treatment and their symptoms were ignored.
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