TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Two nurses have been suspended for failing to properly care for an inmate who died after being found unresponsive in his cell, a sheriff’s office in Ohio said.
An internal affairs report released Tuesday by the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office upheld internal charges of “incompetency or inefficiency” against the nurses. Both were suspended without pay for 45 days.
The inmate, Aaron Ferguson, 29, of Holland had complained several times at the jail on Sept. 11 about breathing trouble and said he might have been exposed to the coronavirus and that he had used a large amount of drugs before he was arrested, according to the report.
An autopsy said he died from complications from a heart problem that’s often caused by drug abuse. Former sheriff John Tharp said it’s not clear whether the nurses’ actions played a role in Ferguson’s death, The Blade reported.
The internal affairs report said one of the nurses did not check on Ferguson right away after a corrections officer reported that the inmate’s breathing was abnormally fast and that he “looks dead.”
Later that day, another nurse declined to check on Ferguson after a guard asked her to look at him because he was complaining of trouble breathing and leg pain, the report said.
An official with a union that represents the nurses at the jail declined to comment on the report.