Prisoner dies after confusion and staff delay

Vincent Kuru-Nathan, 21 (pictured) died in his cell in a prison in Christchurch, New Zealand, on May 15 last year.

The family of a prisoner who drowned to death lying face down in his cell with dry Weet-Bix around his mouth accused the staff of negligence after pleading to ignore the pleas to save his life.

Vincent Kuru-Nathan, 21, died in his cell in a prison in Christchurch, New Zealand, on May 15 last year, after vomiting his breakfast and drowning in it.

The delay in responding to another inmate's alert was one of the many problems that occurred on the day of the prisoner's death, according to a report.

Vincent Kuru-Nathan, 21 (pictured) died in his cell in a prison in Christchurch, New Zealand, on May 15 last year.

Vincent Kuru-Nathan, 21 (pictured) died in his cell in a prison in Christchurch, New Zealand, on May 15 last year.

His mother, Missy Kuru, said the staff "dropped the ball", and the prisoners were entitled to the same rights as everyone else.

"You're talking about someone's life," he told Stuff.

The prison inspection report said that Kuru-Nathan had gone to the dining room at 7.12am and returned to his cell with his breakfast.

He was last seen alive when he opened the door of his cell to put trash in a bin at 7:48 am. He was called to appear to work through an intercom, but he did not respond.

Ms. Kuru said that a relative of the prisoner who raised the alarm told her that Weet-Bix was dry around her son's mouth when they discovered him.

A prisoner found him lying face down in his cell and called the staff. When another prisoner asked for help for the intercom staff he did not take it seriously, it has been alleged. More prisoners came to help, finding Kuru-Nathan warm but "blue."

They put him in the recovery position when, again, they asked for help.

Through the intercom, a member of the senior staff told them to go to the doctor's office.

& # 39; The [officer] He did not seem to understand the seriousness of the situation, "the report said.

Once the custody officer arrived, Kuru-Nathan was taken to bed and chest compressions started. A prisoner helped to give mouth to mouth. It took him seven minutes to find the defibrillator after the confusion about where the vital medical item was kept.

Vincent Kuru-Nathan, 21 (pictured) was found face down in his cell in Christchurch, New Zealand, on May 15 last year.

Vincent Kuru-Nathan, 21 (pictured) was found face down in his cell in Christchurch, New Zealand, on May 15 last year.

Vincent Kuru-Nathan, 21 (pictured) was found face down in his cell in Christchurch, New Zealand, on May 15 last year.

After failing to find a shockable heartbeat, Kuru-Nathan turned blue. When an emergency medical call was made, the nurse was not wearing the headset and did not hear the call.

A guard alerted the nurse, but there was another delay, it was "impractical" to take the nurse's 25-kg emergency bag to 360m to the cell, according to the report. Then, the medical car could not be driven because its windshield was covered in frost.

Instead, a prison van was used, but there was another interruption. The decision was made to leave three prisoners in their units on the road, which caused an additional delay of two minutes.

The nurse arrived nine minutes after the emergency call was made.

Chest compressions continued until an ambulance arrived.

Vincent Kuru-Nathan, 21, had been in the prison's low security unit when another inmate found him lying face down on the floor of his cell.

Vincent Kuru-Nathan, 21, had been in the prison's low security unit when another inmate found him lying face down on the floor of his cell.

Vincent Kuru-Nathan, 21, had been in the prison's low security unit when another inmate found him lying face down on the floor of his cell.

Kuru-Nathan was pronounced dead at 8.48 a.m. An autopsy found that he died due to suffocation resulting from the aspiration of gastric contents.

He had been in the Te Ahuhu unit for low security in prisons, serving a three-year sentence for a series of crimes, including an assault that left a man with serious brain injuries.

Regional corrections commissioner Ben Clark said changes were implemented to ensure staff respond appropriately to emergency calls. Instruments were also added to the vehicles of the prison for vehicle de-icing.

The coroner's file remains open.

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