2 fired, action taken against 3 others at Utah State Prison in connection with inmate’s death

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Ramon C. Estrada

DRAPER, Utah — The Utah Department of Corrections announced Thursday two employees have been terminated, a third has been demoted, a fourth is suspended and a fifth will be working in a new capacity after multiple investigations into the death of an inmate who died in April after not receiving scheduled dialysis treatments.

Ramon C. Estrada, 62, died April 5 after he and six other inmates did not receive dialysis due to a “scheduling error.” 

Thursday, the UDC stated that a physician assistant and supervising nurse were given notices of termination. A second supervising nurse was given a notification of demotion. A registered nurse was given a notice of a 40-hour suspension.

According to the press release: “All the employees had some responsibility for the care of seven dialysis patients who were receiving treatment at the prison’s onsite Dialysis Center, operated by University of Utah Health Care.” The technicians in question were from South Valley Dialysis, which is the U of U Health Care’s contract provider for the dialysis services.

The press release also states the Clinical Services Bureau director, “will be returning to work in the capacity of a medical doctor.”

Of the five employees involved in the actions announced Thursday, four had already been on administrative leave. The department has not released the names of any of the employees.

In addition to the department’s internal investigation, the Utah Department of Health is conducting an external review of the dialysis operation. An outside auditing group, WELLCON, is providing an audit of the dialysis program and the prison’s overall health care delivery system in relation to dialysis patients and mental health services. The final review is expected to be complete within the next 90 days.

While the Medical Examiner has not yet completed the autopsy report on Estrada, the Department of Corrections states, “preliminary internal investigation indicates that the failure to provide Estrada with dialysis at the prison’s on-site clinic could be a contributing factor in his death.”

Estrada was convicted of rape and has been incarcerated since Aug. 10, 2005. He had an upcoming parole date of April 21.  The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service had an active detainer on Estrada, who is a Mexican National.

Estrada’s family has filed a lawsuit against the Utah Department of Corrections and University of Utah Health Care.