Law Allows Va. Inmates to Cross Line for Trauma Care

Law Allows Va. Inmates to Cross Line for Trauma Care

News Feb 15, 2013

A Virginia General Assembly bill about inmate health care -- sparked in part by a Bristol Herald Courier investigation -- now needs only the governor's signature to become state law.

Senator Phillip Puckett's bill, SB 818, would allow state officials to create a sort of medical treaty with neighboring states so jailers can leave Virginia to get to the nearest hospital trauma center.

That way, guards can keep custody of the inmate following treatment and return them to jail.

As it stands now, Southwest Virginia's jail population has to rely on a Roanoke hospital to treat the most serious medical emergencies, although there are facilities much closer across the border in Tennessee.

Puckett's proposed legislation was approved in the Senate earlier this month in a unanimous vote. On Tuesday, it passed the House of Delegates with another unanimous vote.

It now goes to Gov. Bob McDonnell for his signature.

The impetus behind the bill is a 2011 Herald Courier story about an inmate's four-hour, 197-mile ambulance ride from Red Onion State Prison in Pound to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Inmate Kawaski Bass, serving 65 years for robbery, assault and carjacking, suffered abdominal bleeding and severe head injuries following a fight with his cellmate.

He died shortly after reaching the hospital.

Under Puckett's proposal, jailers would have been able to take Bass to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., a 75-mile trek, or Bristol Regional Medical Center in Bristol, Tenn., a 78-mile trip.

Continue Reading

(276) 645-2549

Twitter: @Mike_BHCNews

Copyright 2013 Media General Communications Holdings, LLCDistributed by Newsbank, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Bristol Herald Courier (Virginia)
Crestline Coach attended the Eighth Annual Saskatchewan Health & Safety Leadership conference on June 8 to publicly sign the “Mission: Zero” charter on behalf of the organization, its employees and their families.
ImageTrend, Inc. announced the winners of the 2017 Hooley Awards, which recognize those who are serving in a new or innovative way to meet the needs of their organization, including developing programs or solutions to benefit providers, administrators, or the community.
Firefighters trained with the local hospital in a drill involving a chemical spill, practicing a decontamination process and setting up a mass casualty tent for patient treatment.
Many oppose officials nationwide who propose limiting Narcan treatment on patients who overdose multiple times to save city dollars, saying it's their job to save lives, not to play God.
While it's unclear what exact substance they were exposed to while treating a patient for cardiac arrest, two paramedics, an EMT and a fire chief were observed at a hospital after experiencing high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and mood changes.
After a forest fire broke out, students, residents and nursing home residents were evacuated and treated for light smoke inhalation before police started allowing people to return to their buildings.
AAA’s Stars of Life program celebrates the contributions of ambulance professionals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to their communities or the EMS profession.
Forthcoming events across the country will provide a forum for questions and ideas
The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) has released its 2016 Annual Report summarizing HCOHSEM’s challenges, operations and key accomplishments during the past year.
Patients living in rural areas can wait up to 30 minutes on average for EMS to arrive, whereas suburban or urban residents will wait up to an average of seven minutes.
Tony Spadaro immediately started performing CPR on his wife, Donna, when she went into cardiac arrest, contributing to her survival coupled with the quick response of the local EMS team, who administered an AED shock to restore her heartbeat.
Sunstar Paramedics’ clinical services department and employee Stephen Glatstein received statewide awards.
A Good Samaritan, Jeremy English, flagged down a passing police officer asking him for Narcan after realizing the passengers in the parked car he stopped to help were overdosing on synthetic cannabinoids.
Family and fellow firefighters and paramedics mourn the loss of Todd Middendorf, 46, called "one of the cornerstones" of the department.
The levy is projected to raise about $525,000 per year, and that money must be spent only on the Othello Hospital District ambulance service.