ADELANTO – A certain level of care is expected, even to those detained or serving time at any United States detention facility. These are called human rights and are protected under Amendment VIII of the Constitution, which protects any human from cruel and unusual punishment. Additional division regarding the treatment of Immigration (ICE) detainees, which some feel may have been at least partially caused by the November 2016, elections.
Serious issues resulting in the death of two detainees in recent months has led to questions about the treatment including the care for the medical needs of detainees. These include 32-year-old Nicaraguan national Osmar Epifanio Gonzalez-Gadba who was found hanging from a bedsheet in his single-detainee cell on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. Gonzalez-Gadba had been in ICE custody since December 29, 2016, after being arrested by Border Patrol agents in the southern San Diego area.
Less than a month later, on Thursday, April 13, 2017, 55-year-old Mexican National Sergio Alonso Lopez, who was only in custody from February 7, 2017, died of internal bleeding while in custody of ICE. Lopez was transported to Victor Valley Global Medical Center after vomiting blood while being housed at the Adelanto Detention Facility. Lopez, according to authorities had several ongoing medical issues which they believe contributed to his death including, cirrhosis, high blood pressure, and withdrawal from alcohol and illicit drug use. His cause of death was determined to be internal bleeding. Lopez had a lengthy criminal history and was deported back to Mexico numerous times. This was the fifth ICE detainee death at the Adelanto Detention facility between 2016 and 2017.
An Article titled, Fire and ICE: Detention Deaths in the High Desert published by Capital and Main also mentioned the death of a 44-year-old El Salvador citizen who had been in ICE Custody for years, two of those years with complaints of gastrointestinal symptoms. The last of his four years, was spent in the City of Adelanto Detention Facility. The delay in his Colon Cancer diagnosis is now believed to have contributed to his delay in treatment and lack of treatment options at the stage he was diagnosed.
Most recently Capital & Main reported that a 41-year-old female detainee at the Adelanto Detention Center loss the use of her arm and leg due to what she believes may have been an undiagnosed stroke. The detainee, according to their report drags her leg, has little use of her apparently weakened right arm and has a droop to the right side of her mouth. The woman reported that she collapsed the first time in January. When she awoke she was unable to move her mouth or eyes. She was taken to a hospital where tests were done, but the hospital would not disclose her condition or diagnosis to her. She collapsed again, but the collapse was not taken seriously and she was simply moved to a room without cellmates, where she remained for four days. The woman said that she received no care during those days besides for a brief visit from a nurse who brought her mental health medications for depression and anxiety and took her vitals.
She said she had another collapse, but did not report it and simply decided to wait to see a doctor in the future. Until improvements are evident, the delay and lack of adequate care for both mental and physical health care; including the treatment for Chemical Disorders may be a valid concern to address when there is a death or major illness of a Detainee.
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