Latest update, Monday, May 30, 9:40am: As you read the following update from Joe P-D about Jackie Hudson’s medical crisis, please know that many people, including a team of lawyers (including Bill Quigley, Center for Constitutional Rights and Anabel Dwyer) and physicians, are working nearly 24/7 to get Jackie proper medical care. Prison officials have refused to transfer Jackie to a hospital to be properly and fully evaluated for her heart problem (the prison medical facility is not equipped or staffed for such a problem). She is NOT receiving the care she needs. Prison officials are also depriving Jackie of her right to counsel; Brad Henry, Jackie’s attorney, was told that he could not speak with his client. Many people people have gotten through on the prison phone number I posted (at end of this post) and were told that Jackie “is doing OK.” Just for the record – That is an outright lie!!! I understand that there may be a vigil outside the prison where Jackie is held tomorrow (Tuesday). More info as soon as I know it, Leonard
Jackie Hudson in Crisis
from Joe Power-Drutis
May 29, 2011
Yesterday at 5PM I received a call from Sr. Carol Gilbert at the Irwin
County Detention Center. She was alerting me that Jackie was
experiencing severe chest pain and that nothing was being done for her
Within an hour I received another call from a woman living here in
Knoxville. She has a friend in the same unit as Jackie and she too was
alerting me that Jackie was in “real trouble” and that no medical
assistance was forthcoming.
By 7 PM this same woman from Knoxville called again to say that Jackie
was removed from open population and taken to a medical room; however,
by the time they responded, Jackie was experiencing severe left sided
chest pain, shortness of breath and complained of a pressure over her
entire chest area “like someone was sitting on her chest”.
Between 5 and 11 PM Sue Ablao and I contacted 5 attorneys, 4 medical
doctors ,the U.S. Marshall’s service in East Tennessee and numerous
calls into the Irwin County Detention Facility, where Jackie is at,
and the Irwin County Sheriff’s office.
By evenings end, 2 physicians and 3 attorneys made strong attempts at
speaking with the nurse and guards inside of the detention center –
they all encountered a near wall of non information and an unreceptive
response by both nurse and guards to their insistence that Jackie be
sent to the Emergency Department at their local hospital, the Irwin
County Hospital in Ocilla.
The sheriff of Irwin County could not be reached. We were told by a
sheriff’s deputy that the Detention Center is a private facility and
that the sheriff’s office had no jurisdiction over that facility.
Jackie’s attorney here in Knoxville was told by the jail nurse “they
had their protocols and that she would send Jackie to the hospital if
she thought it was necessary.” The attorney asked if the jail had all
the equipment necessary to assess and evaluate Jackie’s condition –
the nurse’s response was, “they did not, but they did have an EKG”
One physician of internal medicine called and spoke with the nurse.
Apparently the nurse asked Jackie if she knew him and when she could
not identify him by name the nurse told him that she could not speak
with him. He, like everyone else, was adamant that Jackie should be
evaluated immediately at their local hospital emergency room.
Another physician that called is a clinical professor of Internal
Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco. He spoke
with the nurse and told her “even in the absence of a cardiac history
given the fact that she had recent surgery for a severe hiatal hernia
that it was important, given her symptoms, that she be evaluated in
the Emergency Department at the hospital.” The nurse gave a non-answer
and said “the inmate was being taken care of.”
Well indeed she was being “taken care of”, but surly not by any
medical standards I am aware of.
Not a single school of nursing ANYWHERE could possibly have educated
this jail nurse to respond as she did. Only a system of punishment,
desirous of the most minimal of care for its inmates could dictate
such protocols of ‘non care’ and take control of such a charge nurse.
So, a hypothetical scenario: You are a student nurse, sitting for
your state boards after years of rigorous education and clinical work;
not a nurse with years of experience in charge of a private detention
center. Here’s one of your test questions.
You come upon a 76 y/o cauc woman c/o severe left sided chest pain,
experiencing SOB (shortness of breath for you lay folks), and has
further c/o “feeling a heavy pressure, like someone is sitting on her
chest”. Her history shows that the woman had a severe hiatal hernia
and underwent surgery to repair the hernia 3 months ago.
What do you do?
A – Call 911 and notify the fire department of an emergency?
B – Do an EKG, and read it yourself because as a jail nurse your
scope of practice allows this?
C – Schedule a chest X-Ray for 2 days from the onset of symptoms?
D – Give the person Ibuprofen for her pain, take her blood pressure
and pulse every 4 hours and keep and eye on her?
OK all you nurses out there – I know this is not an easy question so
I’ll give you a hint.
In Jackie’s case 3 of the four answers are what was done and only one
of the answers was not followed. What is your answer?
This morning I spoke with a nurse at the Emergency Department at the
Irwin County Hospital from the Night shift and another nurse from the
day shift. Both nurses were willing to call the jail and intervene on
Jackie’s behalf. Both nurses were also greeted with a wall of non
information. One of the nurses related to the jail staff that their
liability in this matter was very high and they should refer Jackie to
them. No response. No jail nurse was available for consult.
As far as any of us knows, no doctor was ever called and no doctor
ever came to the jail to evaluate Jackie’s condition.
I have the name of the doctor who is the medical director of the jail.
That information will be shared with the attorneys and doctors who
have already attempted to talk with the jail staff.
By days end I will post another update on any information I have about
In the meantime we must stay close to Jackie through our meditations
and our spirit connection to hers.