Medical records shine light on medications given to SLO County Jail inmate before death

Posted at 6:51 PM, May 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-03 21:51:31-04

Was inmate Andrew Holland injected with a sedative before he died in the San Luis Obispo County Jail? That was a topic during KSBY’s live sheriff’s debate Wednesday night in which Sheriff Ian Parkinson denied drugs were used.

Holland, who suffered from schizophrenia, died from a blood clot on Jan. 22, 2017, after spending nearly two straight days in a restraint chair. Parkinson has said Holland was initially placed in the restraints because he was repeatedly punching himself in the face. 

Holland’s family has provided KSBY with Andrew’s medical records from the time he was in the county jail.

During the hotly contested sheriff’s debate on KSBY News Wednesday, challenger Greg Clayton claimed Holland was injected with two milligrams of Ativan and was sedated one hour into his 46-hour stay in the jail’s restraint chair.

"That’s a sedative and afterwards, when he was contacted by custodial staff, they all logged on that he was answering questions appropriately and that he was calm," Clayton said.

The medical records KSBY obtained from the Holland family show that around 7:40 p.m. on the Friday he went into the chair, staff gave Holland two milligrams of the sedative Ativan and 20 milligrams of the anti-psychotic medication Olanzapine, but Holland spit them out.

About 15 minutes later, records show they injected him with two milligrams of the sedative Lorazepam.

Sheriff Parkinson has said for months that Holland wasn’t calm and that he didn’t take his drugs that day. Back in March, he sat down with KSBY News anchor Carina Corral for an exclusive interview. She asked why Holland was kept in the chair for so long.

"Because he was having a psychotic episode and he would not take medication and his behavior was not changing," Parkinson said.

During the debate, Parkinson was again asked whether drugs were used.

Carina Corral: "Can you confirm or deny that?" 
Sheriff Parkinson: "He was offered, early on, medication which he spit out." 
Richard Gearhart: "But what about the Ativan that he was just talking about, an injection?" 
Sheriff Parkinson: "I have no knowledge of an injection. We actually asked about an injection and that would have been emergency forced medication and the order from the psychiatrist was for voluntary medication. That was part of the report and part of the investigation that he would know if he had read it before he drew these conclusions. What he read, I don’t know, because he has not read the entire file."

It’s not clear what Parkinson meant by the "entire file." KSBY reached out to his office for clarification on this new information and was told to talk to the County Counsel and County Public Health Department.
The Holland family says it was the County Public Health Department which gave them their son’s medical records.

County Administrative Officer Wade Horton sent KSBY News this statement on the matter:

It’s clear that Andrew Holland’s tragic death has become an election issue. Rather than engage in the election, the focus (is) on making changes to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again. We can’t address details about Andrew’s medical care, because we are legally bound by HIPAA to keep that information private.