Orange County prosecutors have concluded there was no criminal wrongdoing on behalf of the sheriff’s department in a jail miscarriage last November, officials announced Thursday.
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, Haughton said. She was given medicine for a urinary tract infection, the prosecutor said.
On Nov. 7 she 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, Haughton said.
A doctor said the blood came from the infection and prescribed more medication, Haughton said.
On Nov. 11, she pressed the emergency button in her cell and reported she was bleeding, Haughton said. A nurse 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. The nurse wanted to do a fetus heart tone check, but Guadalupe refused, Haughton said.
“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.
Haughton said that did not contribute to the miscarriage, which happened after she was taken back to a 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.”
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