Pulaski County jail moves to improve ob/gyn care for inmates | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Pulaski County jail moves to improve ob/gyn care for inmates

Posted By on Tue, Nov 10, 2015 at 11:21 AM

click to enlarge REMOTE MEDICINE: A doctor can use a remote connection to perform fetal checks. - UAMS
  • UAMS
  • REMOTE MEDICINE: A doctor can use a remote connection to perform fetal checks.

The Marshall Project reports
on the addition of virtual ob-gyn services at the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility to reduce the rate of miscarriages by inmates. The article by Simone Weichselbaum begins:

Over a stretch of 17 months at the largest jail in Arkansas, three inmates miscarried and one gave birth to a full-term baby boy in a toilet. The newborn soon died, still attached to his umbilical cord. He was wrapped in a medical waste bag.

If the women had not sued the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility in Little Rock, few people in the outside world would have known about the deaths. There is no national tally of miscarriages and other pregnancy outcomes in jails and prisons. Few facilities track them at all. But what makes this jail stand out is not just the grim tally of fetal deaths. It is the county’s response: A new virtual ob-gyn clinic that aims to prevent miscarriages and stillbirths in the future.

“Hiding from one screwup doesn’t prevent the next one,” said Maj. Matthew Briggs, second-in-command of the 1,530-bed facility that houses about 200 women on a typical day. By Christmas, the jail’s medical facility is expected to have interactive video equipment, a fetal heart rate monitor and an ultrasound machine. The county is close to signing an estimated $150,000 annual contract with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to provide nurses who specialize in high-risk pregnancies to perform weekly prenatal exams on inmates. Doctors will examine the women remotely from their offices three miles away through video chats, digital scopes and the heart-rate monitor.

“A patient is a patient. It is just as important to me whether it is my daughter-in-law, who is pregnant now, or whether it’s a prisoner who is a patient,” said Tina Benton, oversight director for the university’s Center for Distance Health. “I am going to take care of them the same way.”

This is good and humane news. And I guess we should be happy official objections haven't been raised. The Arkansas legislature prevents doctors from using telemedicine to prescribe the pills that can induce a miscarriage in a woman seeking to end a pregnancy. The state Medical Board has also been resistant to telemedicine expansion.

The lawsuit by four women didn't require all this by the jail. The state requires only a minimum standard of medical care. But anticipating pressure, the jail staff decided to volunteer better treatment rather than to wait for further court orders.

Tags: , , , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Obamacare's ruin: Where are the boastful press releases from Arkansas Republicans?

    Silence so far from Republican politicians such as Leslie Rutledge on achievement of their long-stated dream, death to the Affordable Care Act. Could that be because most people now understand what a good thing President Obama did with its passage? Update: Rutledge applauds and offers empty promise of coverage.
    • Dec 15, 2018
  • Entergy demolishes old power plant near Stamps

    Entergy, the state's largest electric utility, yesterday used explosives to destroy the major parts of its closed Couch Plant near Stamps, which dated to 1943 and was designed to burn fuel oil or gas at two generating units. Named for power company founder Harvey Couch, it's been out of commission since 2013.
    • Dec 15, 2018
  • City Board to consider enriched retirement for retiring Mayor Mark Stodola

    The Little Rock City Board agenda for its last meeting of the year Tuesday includes, as expected, a vote on an ordinance that will significantly sweeten retiring Mayor Mark Stodola's retirement and apply to future mayors as well. The agenda, however, carries no mention of resolution of his claim for an estimated $173,000 in pay for unused vacation and leave time.
    • Dec 15, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • Police identify two women found fatally shot on Chicot Road

    Little Rock police have identified two women found dead of gunshot wounds in an SUV parked next to a vacant trailer in a mobile home park at 11500 Chicot Road.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Today in Trump: Obstruction of justice anyone?

    It's the New York Times with the news today. Fired FBI Director James Comey kept notes of his talks with Donald Trump. A memo he wrote in February after a meeting with Trump said the president asked him to shut down the investigation into Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser.
    • May 16, 2017

Slideshows

  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation