Healthcare is a Disaster!

Prison Life

Apr 11

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 |

I have heard horror stories about the healthcare here.  There was a guy who had a heart attack at the weight area.  The defibrillator battery was dead.  They got a second defibrillator, and its battery was dead.  The guy died.  I have talked to other guys that had their medical treatment delayed or ignored.  It is apparently a common thing. I have written about the uncaring nature, or general lack of competence, of healthcare here.


I was also told that the FMC can no longer do surgery because there is a staph virus in the air vents, and this is in a government hospital!  God help us all when the government takes over all healthcare.  Butner uses local hospitals for specialized procedures.  But, they owe Duke Medical Center $4M so Duke has stopped accepting Butner patients.  There are other local hospitals to refer inmates to, but it is unconscionable to stiff your major healthcare provider.

Please remember that Butner is a primary provider for health services for inmates in the BOP system.  My guess is that nearly half of the campers are “Care Level 3”, which indicates chronic care problems that require constant monitoring.  I would guess that the number is close to 25% of the inmates at the Low, and most inmates that are housed at the FMC.  It is hard for me to estimate the Care Level 3 inmates at the maximum and at the medium, but I would have to assume that the ratio is comparable to the Low.  The entire Butner complex has about 5,100 inmates.

My Healthcare Experience

I had some urology issues when I was in the SHU.  Medical scheduled me for an ultrasound for the day after my arrival at the camp.  About 10 days later, I met with the nurse about the results.  She said the results showed a “hydrocele”.  Since the swelling went down, it would probably heal itself.  She didn’t seem to know what a hydrocele was so she googled it and showed me pictures.

It was evident to me that she didn’t know what she was talking about so I asked to see a urologist.  She said she would schedule me for a urology appointment.  A week passed and still no appointment so I sent a cop out in again requesting the appointment.

Last week I requested a copy of all my Butner medical records.  I got the records on Thursday and reviewed them.  The ultrasound report indicated the hydrocele was probably caused by an infection.  She never mentioned the infection part.  As I was walking out the door with a cop out to speak to the camp doctor, I noticed I had a call out for a urology appointment at FMC.  A long story short, I went to FMC at 8 am and finally saw the doctor at about 1 pm or so.  He told me that the hydrocele was definitely caused by an infection and was surprised that I was not given antibiotics three weeks ago.  The doctor wrote the prescriptions and said he would see me in a couple of weeks.  This was a contract doctor and he seemed like a good guy.

My medical records also indicated some of my blood test results were out of normal range after I left the SHU.  The original blood tests, taken at the Low at intake, were all in the normal range.   I doubt the latest blood tests were reviewed, or perhaps they were ignored.  I will send the camp doctor a cop out about these blood tests.


The only advice I could give someone here is to constantly monitor your health records, keep a diary of all medical treatment, report health issues immediately, and insist on competent treatment.