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Erie County inmate dies after being found unresponsive in cell

Posted at 11:46 AM, Jul 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 17:18:43-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A standard medical review is now underway following the death of an Erie County Holding Center inmate.

The inmate's name isn't being released, and Public Information Officer, Scott Zylka said Sheriff Timothy Howard wouldn't be commenting on the case.

According to Zylka, the inmate was placed in a supervised medical unit on July 23 after the inmate stated they were having some health issues.

On July 24, at approximately 4:11 p.m., a deputy arrived at the inmate’s cell to escort them to a scheduled medical appointment, when the deputy observed the inmate on the floor unresponsive.

A nurse with the Division of Correctional Health administered CPR until an ambulance arrived. After about 30-minutes of CPR, a pulse was discovered, and the inmate was transported to Buffalo General Medical Center where the inmate went surgery.

The sheriff’s office was notified late Friday that the individual passed away.

The sheriff’s office notified the N.Y.S. Commission of Correction, and the U.S. Department of Justice of the incident. A standard medical review is currently underway. It is expected to take several days. Once it is complete, Zylka said the Holding Center's medical director would be available to answer questions.

This comes less than a month after the Erie County Legislature approved a new "Corrections Specialist Advisory Board." The goal is to provide a more watchful eye over the sheriff's division of jail management. The board will consist of neighbors, law enforcement, and former inmates.