Changes being made at Utah State Prison after inmate dies while awaiting dialysis treatment

Posted at 8:31 PM, Apr 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-08 22:31:16-04

DRAPER, Utah – A spokeswoman for the Utah State Prison said changes are already being made after an inmate died while he was waiting to receive his dialysis treatment over the weekend and the technician didn't arrive as scheduled.

Ramon Estrada, 62, died Sunday and early reports indicate he may have died due to cardiac arrest caused by renal failure.

Estrada and six other inmates were waiting for treatment Friday and Saturday, but the technician scheduled to treat them never arrived.

The other inmates were all taken to a hospital and have all subsequently been treated and taken back to the prison. The Unified Police Department is investigating Estrada’s death.

“Whenever there is a death at the prison, Unified Police is called to investigate,” said Lt. Justin Hoyal of Unified Police Department. “Whether that be ranging from an attended death, which is usually a death involving natural causes, up to a homicide. Any type of death--we get called out there to investigate; it’s standard protocol.”

UPD said getting the autopsy results is their first step, and those results are not yet available.

Brooke Adams, a public information officer for the Utah Department of Corrections, said they have already taken steps to prevent future problems with medical care for inmates.

"Number one is making sure we have a good communication system in place so that we have the ability to communicate clearly at any time with our contract provider, so we've already taken steps to ensure that that's in place,” Adams said.

The prison works through South Valley Dialysis through a contract with University of Utah Healthcare for the treatment of inmates, and U of U Healthcare released a statement, saying the issue stemmed from a scheduling error and that they are investigating.

Estrada had been incarcerated since August 10 of 2005 and had an upcoming parole date of April 21. The federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Service had an active detainer on the man, who is a Mexican national.