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CDCR - What You Need to Know Information relating to the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation. Q&A for those new to the CDCR system should be posted here.

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Old 03-19-2019, 10:33 AM
Halo527 Halo527 is offline
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Default Medical Treatment

Last night my son called me. He had a (serious) medical emergency and when he asked the Sgt. (twice) to see the nurse, the Sgt. refused to let him go and told him to fill out a form and that he could see the doctor in the morning (although there was a nurse on the premises).


My son called me and I offered to try and contact the prison, but he was worried that if I did this, I would cause trouble for him with the guards.


I would like to know what the correct procedure is for this. I had read a CDCR document online last night that only trained medical personnel can determine if something is an emergency, so I at least feel that the guard should have let him go see the nurse.


At this point, should I write this up? And to whom (the warden? no omsbudsmen on site as it's a private prison). If I do, will I cause trouble for my son? I have to say, I really HATE the system because of how helpless it sometimes makes me feel. We definitely have no control here.


Thank you,


Halo
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:57 PM
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I'm sorry, mom. It's another one of those things that seriously sucks about prison. CDC isn't the worst when it comes to healthcare anymore, but it's certainly nowhere near what we expect on the outside. Most of us with any time under our belt can tell you some stories, but the reality is we know the potential and hope for the best. In some cases, that has meant other inmates advocating for an incapacitated person. :/


Sadly, baring blood spurting from here to Korea from a major artery, they require a request be submitted to see medical. The Sgt. wasn't necessarily being a jerk, it's policy. Now, if it's an obvious (define that, right?) emergency, they have protocol to follow. But if your son was able to calmly approach and request to see medical, they don't see that as urgent. You have to remember that for every logical approach we can think of, there is an inmate who has used that to cause harm or act out. I don't know the stats offhand, but medical personnel take a big risk any time they see an inmate. I personally know one who has TBI from having her head slammed between the door and a jamb because the inmate didn't want to return to his cell and this was one way of getting transferred. He wasn't sick, he just wanted to get out. Now she has seizures and can't work as a nurse.

The flip side is-- the paper trail protects your son. Without the written request, he has zero proof that he was denied care. He needs to file a request and keep filing them until he's seen. There are magic words that will expedite him getting attention, but if his issues aren't cardiac or respiratory related, best to stay away from them.

Last edited by miamac; 03-19-2019 at 05:01 PM..
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Old 03-21-2019, 02:55 PM
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It's been a few days. Just wondering if your son was able to see someone. I hope so!
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Old 03-23-2019, 06:15 PM
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It's been a few days. Just wondering if your son was able to see someone. I hope so!
He did get in the next day to see the nurse who confirmed his tonsils were swollen and he was running a fever, but they said it would be a week until he saw the doctor. I told him to request to go back if he started to feel worse. Fortunately, he's been ok. I explained what you said above. I think it helped him to know that.

Thanks Mia!
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:12 PM
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He did get in the next day to see the nurse who confirmed his tonsils were swollen and he was running a fever, but they said it would be a week until he saw the doctor. I told him to request to go back if he started to feel worse. Fortunately, he's been ok. I explained what you said above. I think it helped him to know that.

Thanks Mia!
Aww, poor guy! I can handle broken bones better than I can a sore throat. I just hate them! I know they usually try to convince you it's allergies first and send you back to your cell with a few days of Benedryl to try. My husband had a ruptured ear drum from infection that took three months to be addressed. He would go in and they would tell him to stop aggressively drying his ears and gave him Benedryl. Finally, the pain was so bad they sent him to an outside ENT who confirmed the rupture (it was healing by then) and accurately predicted that he would lose some hearing that ear.

Like I said, the stories we could tell you...it's shameful. But the best thing they can do is keep requesting to be seen so it's documented.

Hope he's feeling better soon.
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:27 AM
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I forget now who it was that told my hub.........Maybe someone at intake, or maybe the county jail.

Dont get sick. And keep brushing and flossing your teeth.
Boy were they right!
Lucky for my hub he really didnt get very sick (except for a toenail issue)
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:34 PM
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Aww, poor guy! I can handle broken bones better than I can a sore throat. I just hate them! I know they usually try to convince you it's allergies first and send you back to your cell with a few days of Benedryl to try. My husband had a ruptured ear drum from infection that took three months to be addressed. He would go in and they would tell him to stop aggressively drying his ears and gave him Benedryl. Finally, the pain was so bad they sent him to an outside ENT who confirmed the rupture (it was healing by then) and accurately predicted that he would lose some hearing that ear.

Like I said, the stories we could tell you...it's shameful. But the best thing they can do is keep requesting to be seen so it's documented.

Hope he's feeling better soon.

Mia,


My son is also having some bad back problems, exacerbated by working out, but he says that he can't stop working out as it's demanded that the "younger guys" have to do it. I asked him if he told them his back hurts, but the response he gets, is so does mine.



Jameson had back surgery for a bone spur some years ago and I'm afraid that it's acting up. He went to the doctor and the doctor told him to take an over the counter pain medicine, but of course after a while you build up a tolerance and honestly, it's not very good for your liver. Does he need to keep insisting that his back hurts until it gets so bad that they have to have him see someone from the outside like happened with your husband? Does it help if I write to his counselor? That seems to get pretty good action when I have.



I thought we might try and see if we can buy him an over the counter pain rub or a heating pad or ice pack, but he said that they wouldn't allow the ice pack in the dorm. How does he get through 10 more years of this? It breaks my heart that he's so stuck in this position.
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Old 03-27-2019, 09:09 PM
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He can see a doctor, however he will not be allowed to have pain medication, other than Advil type medication, even if an outside doctor prescribes it, I don’t want to sound unsympathetic because that’s not how I feel about his situation, I’m just sure they will not care that his back hurts, and yes that breaks my heart.
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:33 PM
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He can see a doctor, however he will not be allowed to have pain medication, other than Advil type medication, even if an outside doctor prescribes it, I donít want to sound unsympathetic because thatís not how I feel about his situation, Iím just sure they will not care that his back hurts, and yes that breaks my heart.
I know, it's so inhumane. Animals in the zoo are treated better. The prisons in Norway are so much better. They treat prisoners with dignity and respect.
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:43 PM
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If the pain is persistent/getting worse/impeding his movement, he has the right to be examined. The info below is correct, he won't be offered any sort of narcotic but they may determine that an anti-inflammatory is appropriate (naproxen, for example). In my opinion, it's worth pushing for because if for some reason in the future he cannot participate in some aspect of programming because of his back (I'm thinking job assignment), it would serve him well to have those visits documented.
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