A committee which included doctors and correctional officers analyzed the deaths of 381 inmates last year. It found most of those weren’t preventable. But the court-appointed man overseeing healthcare in prisons, Robert Sillen, says 18 of them could have been prevented. The leading cause of death: asthma:
“You know, the asthma probably is what shocked me the most – I mean, to think that any kind of a quote healthcare system, unquote, could have asthma as a leading cause of death is just unspeakable.”
Other causes of preventable death included hyperthermia, cardiac arrest, and an ulcer. Sillen says another 48 deaths could possibly been prevented. Some were a result of delayed diagnosis and poor responses to lab result or ex-rays. He says the lack of a good medical records system is still a major problem. A Department of Corrections Spokesperson says they’re not commenting on the report, since healthcare is Sillen’s responsibility.