A paraplegic inmate at a state prison in Grants, New Mexico developed a cavernous malformation due to uncared-for bedsores. The malformation measured at 1.5 inches by 2 inches, and about 1.5 inches deep, exposing his lower back bone. The patient has been in and out of prison for almost a decade, his longest stint occurring due to a 2012 drug bust.
Failing to receive proper care as an inmate is no shocking news, unfortunately. Inmates and families of inmates have complained for decades about how they or their family is treated under the prison system. This story transformed just like any other –
Apparently, the inmate’s bedsore had been worsening for almost a month and no attention had been brought to his aid. In July of last year, Northwestern New Mexico Correctional Center finally admitted him to the University of New Mexico Hospital. There it was found that his wound was eroding his sacrum, causing extensive pain and discomfort. Much of the discomfort could be attributed to the urinary tract infection and hip bone infection, the hospital found, both of which contributed to the development of sepsis. Sepsis is a body’s immune system response to infection, one that is potentially life-threatening. The inmate is accusing the Corrections Department’s medical provider of allowing and providing less than standard medical care. Apparently, the current medical provider was switched from the previous one due to 150 lawsuits in the 9 years it was running. Since the new provider came aboard in 2016, 17 lawsuits have been brought on.
The lack of proper medical care for inmates is unjust. Everyone, as citizens of the United States, is due care for their injuries and wounds, from small to severe. The type of medical negligence we assume this inmate experienced was one of deliberate indifference. Deliberate indifference is when a prison official recklessly or intentionally disregards a sense of harm or risk a prisoner may be experiencing. There are numerous ways that deliberate indifference can be defined, such as:
- A prisoner being denied care or experiencing a serious delay in access to medical attention
- A physician failing to carry out medical orders
- A physician failing or lagging to make a professional judgment
If you or a loved one is dealing with medical malpractice or negligence, seek professional help immediately. Everyone has the right to proper medical care, regardless of status or imprisonment. For any questions regarding your or your family’s case, contact our offices today.