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  1. #1
    Patrullero
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    Corrections Officer Faces Permanent Brain Damage After Pepper Spray Training

    http://www.wpxi.com/news/22422147/detail.html

    Jail Guard Faces Permanent Brain Damage After Pepper Spray Training

    A 42-year-old Washington County corrections officer is in a coma following brain surgery after she was exposed to pepper spray during a training session on Monday.

    Joann Haney fell ill during a training exercise at the Washington County Jail, her brother, Greg Ross, told Channel 11 News reporter Alan Jennings.

    The exercise required Haney, who was already on high blood pressure medication, to be showered with pepper spray.

    "The doctor in Washington County explained to me that when she was sprayed with Mace, it caused her blood pressure to shoot off the scale and burst veins in her brain and made a massive brain bleed," Ross said.

    Haney’s daughter, Tess Lynn Buckels suspects her mother was hit with an overdose of pepper spray, more than the usual dose required for training.

    “I kissed her on her cheek yesterday, and the day before, and it was still on her face,” said Buckels. “My lips were on fire.”

    Buckels also said her mother showed signs of improvement.

    “She opened her eyes, she saw me wide-eyed and she smiled,” said Buckels. “She held her right arm out and grabbed me and pulled me down and gave me a hug.”

    The woman is currently in critical condition at Allegheny General Hospital.

    Haney was hired at the Washington County Jail only two weeks ago, but spent 10 years working at the Cambria County Jail.

    Ross told Channel 11 it was there his sister earned lifetime certification from the state in pepper spray techniques.

    "I don't believe that if you're certified you should be sprayed again," Ross said.

    Washington County officials point to policy that requires every new guard to get sprayed and claim Haney had clearance from her family doctor for the training.

    Doctors at AGH were able to stop the bleeding and stabilize Haney. According to her brother, without a miracle, his sister faces permanent brain damage.

    Jail warden Joe Pelzer did not return Channel 11's calls on Wednesday.

    Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi promised an investigation.

    “Tragic event and we’re trying to figure out what happened,” said Maggi.
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  2. #2
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    That is unfortunate. I have never heard of that type of reaction to OC.
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



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  3. #3
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    You can bet people will hear about it now.
    As far as "rights" are concerned; I look at them this way... I don't tell you what church to go to, and you don't tell me what kind of firearm I can own...

  4. #4
    GGG
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    So she stroked out from high blood pressure? I can see the OC causing her stress which would cause that. If it had not happened from the OC, it would have happened the first time she got into a fight with an inmate.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGG View Post
    So she stroked out from high blood pressure? I can see the OC causing her stress which would cause that. If it had not happened from the OC, it would have happened the first time she got into a fight with an inmate.
    The thing that is unusual is that she had already been exposed to OC during her time with the other county. She was on meds and under treatment for high BP and was cleared by her doctor...............

    I am sure the county will pay out $$$$$$$$$$$ with plenty of zeros at the end.

    Once again it is unfortunate that LEO staff are injured and killed during training accidents.
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



    I don't know it all, I know a little about a lot and a lot about a little---slamdunc


    I have discussed religion and politics over morning coffee with men who have killed people, you don't scare me.

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    Once again, it shows that hiring people with medical conditions will always bite you in the butt. Do not lower the standards.

  7. #7
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    Sounds like she was pretty sick, probably didn't even know it. If it wasn't the OC it would have been something else that produced a similar physical reaction, anything from having a confrontation with an inmate to an orgasm. Hope she gets better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
    The thing that is unusual is that she had already been exposed to OC during her time with the other county. She was on meds and under treatment for high BP and was cleared by her doctor...............

    I am sure the county will pay out $$$$$$$$$$$ with plenty of zeros at the end.

    Once again it is unfortunate that LEO staff are injured and killed during training accidents.
    It would be nice to see them NOT pay out. Take care of her medical bills, yes; she was injured on-duty. But to pay some sort of settlement for this thing when she was medically cleared and could have faced a similar situation with inmates as opposed to a training environment is just wrong.
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  9. #9
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    "The doctor in Washington County explained to me that when she was sprayed with Mace, it caused her blood pressure to shoot off the scale and burst veins in her brain and made a massive brain bleed," Ross said.
    Reading that made me cringe...
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    Quote Originally Posted by NextGenOfc View Post
    Reading that made me cringe...
    Her brother and the rest of her family, while well-intentioned, are uneducated boobs. MACE is not the same as pepper spray and all the other opinions are just that - familial opinions. Not medical fact. There isn't one statement in that article from a physician.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. Slaughter View Post
    Her brother and the rest of her family, while well-intentioned, are uneducated boobs. MACE is not the same as pepper spray and all the other opinions are just that - familial opinions. Not medical fact. There isn't one statement in that article from a physician.
    I'm kind of interested to hear how getting sprayed could cause something like that and alter one's blood pressure like that to cause that much trauma. I agree though, he was stating what the doctor "told him" so who knows if he is twisting what the doctor says. I just noticed they said pepper spray and then switched it over to mace throughout the article so they need to figure out exactly what it was too.
    Last edited by NextGenOfc; 02-10-2010 at 09:40 PM.
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  12. #12
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    I am thinking it probably wasn't from the spray its self but from the shock of getting sprayed. In that situation your adrenaline is going to be through the roof no matter what even if you do manage to keep it under control.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiliManiac View Post
    In that situation your adrenaline is going to be through the roof no matter what even if you do manage to keep it under control.
    Well, make up your mind. Which one is it, bub?
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. Slaughter View Post
    Well, make up your mind. Which one is it, bub?
    Oh, I should clarify. If her adrenaline shot up so would her heart rate. Don't really know what I posted that last part for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiliManiac View Post
    Oh, I should clarify. If her adrenaline shot up so would her heart rate. Don't really know what I posted that last part for.
    I don't know why either. But honestly, your first sentence was a "No she-ot" kinda statement, too.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. Slaughter View Post
    I don't know why either. But honestly, your first sentence was a "No she-ot" kinda statement, too.
    Darn, I was hoping you had mind read powers.. Yeah, this is an interesting case though, don't think I've ever seen something like this on the news before. Maybe it was an allergic reaction.

  17. #17
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    OC exposure can easily cause a panic situation, even in people who have prior experience with the stuff. I still react when I get hit by overspray, but have enough practical experience with OC to know that it is not the end of the world. Those with less exposure expereince might not necessarily have the same reaction as I do.

    In a person who is already under medical supervision for high blood pressure, I can see how a panic situation could raise the BP to a dangerous level and cause what appears to be a Cerebral hemorrhage-----and thus stroke.

    Unusaul, yes. Unheard of, no.

    Her families reaction is normal...........we see it every day when officers spray, taze or shoot offenders. The family reacts or over reacts to what they have been told by others, heard on the internet, or been told by some ambulance chaser.

    Laypeople often mix the terms mace/pepper spray /OC. Those of us "in the know" know better and realize the terms are not interchangeable. Once again it is what they hear, see and are prompted to say by others.

    Sgt, as you well know the department will most likely settle to avoid court costs which are always astronomical. I agree that the department needs to take care of this officer since she was injured on duty. That is a given. The rest is all done by the bean counters.

    I wish her and her family well.
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



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    I have discussed religion and politics over morning coffee with men who have killed people, you don't scare me.

  18. #18
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    Good post Iowa

    It really doesn't matter HOW it happened...it happened and now she faces an uphill battle with one, getting better and two, the harder of both, fighting workman's comp.

    If you look at the LODD many young and old drop of heart attacks. So I don't believe any standards are lowered.

    Sheeot happens....you never know...if you one day, perhaps you may be in this predicament.

    Thoughts and prayers for a recovery.
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  19. #19
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    Really? Good thing that CO's don't carry tazers.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeymedic View Post
    Really? Good thing that CO's don't carry tazers.
    WTF is that supposed to mean
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



    I don't know it all, I know a little about a lot and a lot about a little---slamdunc


    I have discussed religion and politics over morning coffee with men who have killed people, you don't scare me.

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    "She had a life time certification.""I don't believe that if you're certified you should be sprayed again," Ross said.


    Well no one made her take the new job, I imagine it was a step up in her mind. Nice how he is already shaking the money tree...

    By the way I am not taking a shot at the victim here, she did not choose her family any more than I did. I would hate for ANYONE in my family to make some half cocked assertions or accusations if I was hurt or unable to communicate myself. I know the risks I take and make them willingly. If they are speaking to the media after anything that happend tp me, I am no friend of theirs.
    Last edited by NORCOCOP; 02-11-2010 at 06:02 AM.

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    Tragic that it happened to her, but like others said, it would have happened to someone else. I'm with the poster that said not to lower standards by hiring people in reactionary jobs that are not medically sound. Put them behind a desk but not somewhere where fast reactions would be necessary.

    For example, what if an officer came in with someone and the perp gets loose and attacks the officer, that lady comes out to help and gets hit by the suspect and same affect happens to her. It will make her useless and in that minute the officer could be in a lot of trouble with his life at risk. Stretching the bounds for a minute, because freak things happen, that officer could die or be seriously injured all in the name of equal opportunity employment.

    I speak of known medical problems, not a freak heart attack or stroke. If you know there are issues that are serious enough to collapse from pepper spray, dont hire them for those positions.

  23. #23
    GGG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
    The thing that is unusual is that she had already been exposed to OC during her time with the other county. She was on meds and under treatment for high BP and was cleared by her doctor...............

    I am sure the county will pay out $$$$$$$$$$$ with plenty of zeros at the end.
    Her previous exposure had probably been 10 years prior when she started with the other agency.

    The county should tell the family to sue the doctor since he was the one to clear her.

  24. #24
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    If she was medically cleared for both the training and the position, I really don't see how the county is going to pay any type of compensation above the job related. I feel terrible for her and the family but lawsuit?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazedwombat View Post
    employment.

    I speak of known medical problems, not a freak heart attack or stroke. If you know there are issues that are serious enough to collapse from pepper spray, dont hire them for those positions.

    I'm sorry. Are you actually saying this woman knew she was going to have this type of reaction? Seriously?


    I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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