Thursday, August 20, 2009

Prison Ignored Pleas for Help from Inmate in Heroin Withdrawal

An inmate in Pittsburgh died unnecessarily after prison staff failed to treat his symptoms of withdrawal from heroin, according to this article.

"The inmates continuously told the nurses that Mr. Kardos needed medical assistance. Mr. Kardos was ridiculed and laughed at by the nursing staff and Defendant Nurse Mark Knapic stated, 'He'll live. He's not going to die,' " the suit said.

In one form he filled out, Mr. Kardos wrote: "I need to see a nurse asap. I'm recovering from dope sickness. I'm vomiting up everything I've put in my stomach. I have a very bad headache. I can't stand without starting to black out. I really need something for these problems, asap. Please see me and give me something soon."

Still, the lawsuit states, Mr. Kardos received no treatment.

This is outrageous if it happened as described. Hopefully it would not happen in Delaware, where an estimated 500 people a year enter prisons in withdrawal from opiates.

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