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  • Writer's pictureSam Orlando

Spina Bifida, MRSA, No Help: Inmate's Chilling Allegations Against Amherst Detention Center

AMHERST COUNTY, VIRGINIA — A recent lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia has spotlighted allegations of severe medical neglect at the Amherst County Adult Detention Center.

Andrew Donahue, an inmate currently detained at the facility, alleges a series of medical missteps and negligence incidents that span several months. Donahue's claims highlight systemic issues within correctional facilities and their approach to inmates with complex medical needs.

Central to the lawsuit is Donahue's pre-existing condition of spina bifida, which necessitates specific treatments and care. Medical documentation suggests he should be self-catheterizing multiple times a day and using specialized medical equipment. However, Donahue alleges these crucial medical needs were repeatedly denied.

The lawsuit also highlights a significant medical incident in February 2023 when Donahue contracted MRSA, a dangerous and contagious bacterial infection. Despite its severity, the proper wound care protocol was allegedly not followed, leading to the exacerbation of his condition and an eventual hospitalization.

In another incident, Donahue recounted a fall, which required medical attention. While doctors recommended MRI scans, only a CT scan was conducted. Such discrepancies in medical care raise concerns about the quality and appropriateness of treatment for inmates.

Adding to the gravity of the situation, Donahue asserts he faced discrimination and belittlement from the correctional staff due to his charges. Allegedly, the nursing staff disclosed his MRSA condition to other inmates, further isolating him.

The lawsuit is now bringing to light a pressing issue of how inmates, especially those with specific medical needs, are treated within the confines of correctional facilities. It raises questions about the responsibility the system has in ensuring the health and safety of those in its care.

The Amherst County Adult Detention Center has yet to respond to the allegations.

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