Saturday, February 05, 2005

Inmate Goes Into Diabetic Coma After Prison Officials Refuse To Give Full Insulin Dose

I just do not GET IT!!! I'm reading this type of story all over the place lately. At least Paul Burton didn't die like Malcolm Simmons, whom I blogged about here; but after Burton recovered from his diabetic coma he was left with diminished eyesight (and I assume organ damage, which anyone whose blood sugars run high over a period would have). In some ways, this story bothers me more (though Burton escaped with his life) because he was a KNOWN DIABETIC and was BEGGING for his proper dose of insulin. This is from The Tennessean:
Inmate claims jail neglect sent him into diabetic coma

Staff ignored pleas for insulin, lawyer says in latest incident

For the second time in a month, officials with the Metro Health Department and the sheriff's office were forced to answer questions yesterday about whether inmates are receiving appropriate medical care in the Metro Jail.

Paul E. Burton III, 40, was hospitalized Jan. 11 in a diabetic coma after he requested higher doses of insulin than jail staff would provide, his Nashville attorney David Raybin said....

According to his lawyer, Burton had a doctor's prescription that he take 50 units of insulin twice a day. But when he was admitted to the jail, medical staff gave him just four units, Raybin said.

He pleaded with jail staff for a higher dose, to no avail, Raybin said.

He complained to relatives that his arms were numb, he had severe stomach pain and was vomiting violently, said his sister, Jennifer Economy. {more}

The symptoms he had are symptoms of impending diabetic coma. (These are symptoms our son had just prior to his diagnosis, and he narrowly missed falling into a coma.) After the coma, the next step is death.

Insulin is a life-sustaining drug. Denied it, people with type 1 diabetes will DIE.

I hope the prison has to pay him off, BIG-TIME.