A man in Washington died last Wednesday just hours after police arrested him on drug charges. Police discovered the 32-year-old man dead inside his jail cell nine hours after his arrest. They suspect he died of a drug overdose.
The man was taken into custody in Lakewood, Washington, on Tuesday. Police charged him with illegal cocaine possession, prescription drugs possession, marijuana possession, and drug possession with the intent to distribute, following a routine traffic stop. The arresting officer reported that he saw the man consume a white powder just before he was detained. However, when asked, the man denied ingesting anything.
Police Tried to Evaluate the Man's Health
Police were still concerned about the man's health, so they called in emergency medical personel to evaluate him. It was discovered that his heart rate was slightly elevated, so he was taken to the hospital. A nurse evaluated the man and gave him a clean bill of health, so he was discharged to police custody and booked at the Pierce County Jail.
Four hours later, the man was dead. Authorities discovered the deceased man alone in his jail cell. Allegedly, the arrested man did not complain about any health issues prior to his death.
According to police, the accused man was no stranger to being arrested. He has been arrested 12 times on felony charges and convicted of felonies six different times. A police representative said that the man was familiar with the criminal system and had many opportunities to say that he was suffering from health problems, both during and after his time at the hospital.
Is This a Case of Medical Negligence?
Perhaps the saddest part about this case is the fact that the man had just been at the hospital. It appears that police did everything they possibly could to ensure this man was healthy and stable for transport to the county jail. However, the question of whether the hospital and its staff were negligent remains. If the hospital had done a better job evaluating this man's health condition, could he have received life-saving medical support? Was the hospital negligent in its treatment of the man?
These and other questions could be answered after the deceased man's autopsy report is completed. Expert medical analysis may also be required to determine if the hospital committed medical negligence in this case.
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