Utah prisoner died after dialysis technician missed shifts

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 23, 2015 3:35 AM

(Reuters) - A Utah prisoner requiring dialysis died after the technician scheduled to treat him failed to report for work, the state's healthcare authorities said on Wednesday.

Ramon Estrada, who the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper said was weeks away from being paroled after serving around 10 years for rape, died on April 5.

He had not received dialysis over the two previous days, University of Utah Health Care system spokeswoman Kathy Wilets said.

The absent technician had agreed to switch shifts with a colleague on those days. The change was registered in the prison's log but the technician failed to note it in his personal calendar, Wilets said in a statement.

A nurse with the prison called the dialysis clinic the day of Estrada's death but it was closed.

The prison then sent six other inmates who had also missed treatment to the University of Utah Hospital. Four required dialysis, one of whom was hospitalized overnight.

"We deeply regret the scheduling error leading to delayed dialysis for these patients," the statement said, adding that it was still investigating Estrada's death and would tighten its scheduling procedures.

Preliminary medical reports indicated Estrada, 62, died of renal failure, The Tribune said, adding that the Utah Department of Corrections was also investigating.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; editing by John Stonestreet)