Deathscapes

Failure to Care

Deathscapes

Failure to Care

There were numerous serious problems with the care that Moises received at Hall County Corrections. Three are highlighted here. Other will be brought up later in the discussion of Moises’ detainee death review.

First, there was no real effort made to diagnose his seizures. After the first seizure, he should have been placed under the care of a physician who could look into the underlying cause(s) of the seizures. In her testimony before the grand jury convened to examine Moises’s death, Dr. Erin Linde, who conducted Moises’ autopsy, noted that diagnosing acute onset seizures begins with a good clinical history, followed by basic laboratory work, neural imaging, and electroencephalograms. Moises never saw a physician and no steps, with the exception of a CT scan, were taken to diagnose his condition.

Second, there was a clear breakdown in the medical staff’s management of Moises’ medication. Given the potentially severe consequence of failing to take anti-seizure medication, someone should have intervened when he stopped taking Keppra.

Third, the placement of a detainee with a serious medical illness in solitary confinement is highly dangerous. In Moises’ case, if he had been in his initial unit or the medical unit when the second and third seizures occurred, another inmate or medical personnel would have likely noticed the seizures when they began and could have alerted others or taken appropriate steps to intervene early. But in solitary, where Moises was locked alone in his cell with guards only checking on him intermittently, his seizures were likely not caught early (certainly not the last, fatal one). Dr. Linde also noted in her grand jury testimony that Moises’ ‘cardiac arrest definitely could have been triggered by the seizure. When you get—I don’t know how long that final seizure period was, but you can have cardiac arrest associated with it, especially in prolonged seizure states’.

Put together, these and the failures discussed later, proved deadly. Indeed, if Moises had received proper care, he would likely still be alive.

[BREAK]

 

Excerpts from the testimony of Dr. Erin Linde before the Hall County, Nebraska grand jury convened to investigate the death of Moises Tino Lopez.

 

Testimony of Dr. Erin Linde before the Hall County, Nebraska grand jury.
Excerpts from the testimony of Dr. Erin Linde before the Hall County, Nebraska grand jury convened to investigate the death of Moises Tino Lopez.


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