Orange County

Sheriff's Department Cleared of Wrongdoing After Woman Suffers Miscarriage in Jail

On November 12, 2018 a woman suffers a miscarriage in a Orange County Jail, resulting in officials dismissing any wrongful doings.

Orange County prosecutors announced Thursday, June 13, that there was no criminal wrongdoing on behalf of the sheriff's department in a jail miscarriage that took place last November.

In a letter to Sheriff Don Barnes dated May 29, the Orange County District Attorney's Office said jail officials properly cared for the incarcerated mother, who was arrested by Santa Ana police Nov. 6 on suspicion of misappropriation of stolen property and bringing a controlled substance into the Orange County Jail, according to a report from Deputy District Attorney Drew Haughton.

It was not immediately clear why there was a delay in releasing the letter.

The mother was identified only as Guadalupe R. It was determined shortly after she was arrested that she was 18 weeks pregnant.

"Guadalupe told medical staff that she smoked cigarettes and had a methamphetamine addiction," said Haughton.

She was given medicine for a urinary tract infection, the prosecutor said.

According to Haughton, on Nov. 7 the woman refused to provide a urine sample, and on Nov. 10 when she saw blood after urinating in her toilet she flushed it before staff could examine it, and then she was rushed to an emergency room for an ultrasound.

"A doctor said the blood came from the infection and decided to prescribe more medication," said Haughton.

On Nov. 11, she pressed the emergency button in her cell and reported she was bleeding. A nurse then, checked on her and told the inmate to contact medical staff if symptoms persisted.

Later that day, when she was checked by a nurse again she said the symptoms had subsided, but spots of blood were on her bed sheet. According to Haughton, the nurse wanted to do a fetus heart tone check, but Guadalupe refused.

"I just want to rest, the morning nurse checked,'' Guadalupe said, according to the prosecutor.

She was supposed to be given new underwear, sheets and feminine pads, but jail guards failed to do that. Despite this, Haughton insisted that did not contribute to the miscarriage, which happened after she was taken back to the hospital on Nov. 12.

"OCJ medical staff ensured Guadalupe R. was taken to the hospital multiple times for her to obtain the appropriate level of medical care,'' Haughton said. "Unfortunately, Guadalupe R. was a noncompliant patient.''

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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