ND officials to review medical care received by Cass Co. inmate
FARGO -- North Dakota officials plan to review the medical treatment received by an inmate who said she suffered heart damage because of poor care at the Cass County Jail.The state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will look into wheth...
FARGO - North Dakota officials plan to review the medical treatment received by an inmate who said she suffered heart damage because of poor care at the Cass County Jail.
The state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will look into whether inmate Jenny Halldorson received appropriate care and whether jailers violated any laws or policies, said Steven Engen, the DOCR’s director of staff development and facility inspection.
Engen said the state’s review, which comes at the request of the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, may start in March.
Sheriff Paul Laney said he asked for the outside review not long after a newspaper story in November about Halldorson and her health troubles at the jail. The sheriff said he made the request for the sake of transparency.
Laney said he expects the jail will be cleared of any wrongdoing.
“We believe she received good medical care,” he said. “We stand behind how our people conducted themselves.”
Halldorson, 34, has accused the jail of ignoring her pleas to be hospitalized when she felt like she was dying. She said she wasn’t taken to a hospital until 17 days after she was first seen by a jail nurse.
Halldorson said doctors at Sanford Medical Center found a life-threatening infection in the lining of her heart. She acknowledged that her intravenous use of methamphetamine up until she was jailed likely caused her infection, known as endocarditis.
She underwent surgery to remove the infection but was left with a leaky heart valve - damage she said her doctor believed could have been avoided had she been hospitalized sooner.
Halldorson was in the Cass County Jail from June to October, serving time on felony convictions of drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was then extradited to Minnesota where she pleaded guilty to a Clay County charge of felony drug possession.