Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Report: Fatally ill inmate got proper care

With a fever heading to 104, Dorothy Dian Palinchik spent her last day at the Pinellas County Jail convulsed with diarrhea and vomiting blood.

Other inmates in the medical wing signed a request asking that Palinchik, 42, be moved away from them.

They didn't want to catch whatever she had. They didn't want her blood anywhere near their food.

Within hours, she was rushed to a hospital. Within a week, she was dead from a severe MRSA infection.

On Thursday, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office released an internal affairs investigation concluding that Palinchik received proper medical care. She spent nine days at the jail — the last one in the medical wing.

Sheriff's Sgt. Annette Perez-Ford received a letter of counseling for tearing up the inmates' request to move Palinchik, but that was the only error investigators reported.

And that did not contribute to Palinchik's death, investigators said, nor did it prevent her from receiving proper medical treatment.

"Naturally," said Palinchik's longtime boyfriend, Michael Mullican. "They're not going to admit to any wrongdoing."

Palinchik's family has said the jail ignored her symptoms and provided inadequate care.

The 80-plus-page report shows Palinchik's demise was swift and sudden.

Palinchik, who sometimes worked as a waitress, was arrested on Feb. 13, accused of stealing a Philly cheesesteak sandwich from a St. Petersburg Publix.

Her bail was set at $250, but she couldn't raise the money, according to recordings of calls she made to her mother and boyfriend.

Her mother said Palinchik, who had a previous shoplifting charge, should just do the time because "enough was enough," the report said.

Palinchik then called her boyfriend and begged him to post her bail. He told her no, because she was going to be served with a notice of violating her probation. Serve the time, he told her.

During booking, a nurse who saw Palinchik reported no signs of illness.

Three days later, on Feb. 16, Palinchik filed her first medical request form, complaining of a painful pressure on her bladder that caused her to urinate constantly. The medical staff put her on Motrin.

On Feb. 18, Palinchik filed another form. Her ears were popping, she was having a hard time breathing and was running a cold sweat. The jail staff put her on a three-day course of upper respiratory medication.

By Feb. 20, Palinchik told her mother she was "sick and dying," according to the report.

Dorothy Helen Palinchik said Thursday she remembered hearing her daughter say she was sick but not that she was dying.

On Feb. 21, Palinchik went to the satellite clinic located inside the general population wing of the jail for the first time. She had a runny nose, nasal congestion and sore throat. She told a nurse she couldn't sleep, her mind was racing and she was coughing up yellow sputum.

When Mullican saw her at 4:30 p.m. that day, she could barely hold up her head and had to leave the visitation booth early. "Michael, I've never been this sick in my life," he quoted Palinchik as saying.

Early Feb. 22, Palinchik went back to the satellite clinic and was put on a priority list to be seen by an advanced registered nurse practitioner.

The nurse saw Palinchik at 12:29 p.m., thought she had the flu and decided to put in an IV, order blood tests and move her to the medical wing.

She got steadily worse until 8:04 p.m., when she was taken to Largo Medical Center.

Doctors there determined she was suffering from MRSA, a highly contagious disease.

By Feb. 28, her limbs had turned black from the infection and the drugs used to fight it, she was unconscious and breathing on a respirator. Doctors considered amputating her arms and legs to stop the infection but decided even that wouldn't work.

She died at 4:14 p.m.

Report: Fatally ill inmate got proper care 07/17/08 [Last modified: Sunday, July 20, 2008 11:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tributes pour in for ex-national security adviser Brzezinski

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — Well before he went to the White House in 1977, Jimmy Carter was impressed by the views of foreign policy expert Zbigniew Brzezinski. That Carter immediately liked the Polish-born academic advising his campaign was a plus.

    Foreign policy expert Zbigniew Brzezinski died Friday.
  2. One year after deaths, Sunset Music Festival kicks off with emphasis on water and security

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Before the beat drops, or even builds, you hear Steve-O.

    "If you don't get water you're lame!"

    "Hey! Free water! Come on!"

    Steve "Steve-O" Raymond motions to guests making the line to grab free water bottle at the entrance of the Sunset Music Festival on the grounds of the Raymond James Stadium parking lot in Tampa. ( LUIS SANTANA   |   Times)
  3. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 27: Brian Dozier #2 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates hitting a two-run home run as Derek Norris #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during the eighth inning of the game on May 27, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rays 5-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010973
  4. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  5. Fans in Florida and beyond won't forget Gregg Allman

    Music & Concerts

    The end can come quickly for those who live fast and live hard, who create worlds with their talent and sometimes come close to throwing them away.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)