Nurse speaks about attack in Saginaw jail cell - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Nurse speaks about attack in Saginaw jail cell

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(02/27/14) - An attack on a nurse in the Saginaw County Jail caught on video last October is prompting changes.

One day after charges were filed in the case, we are hearing from that nurse for the first time.

The nurse got a fractured larynx and an injured arm in the attack, but three weeks later, she was back on the job.

"I was in shock," said Debbie, the nurse.

That's what she remembers about the attack inside a Saginaw County Jail observation cell as she was preparing to get more medical help for the inmate. That inmate is James Gilginas, who is in prison on bank robbery charges and now faces two other criminal charges, including attacking a prison employee.

"Grabbed my thermometer and there was a metal throng from the thermometer and he was going to jab into my neck," Debbie said.

The attack prompted immediate security changes. One change - any inmate who has a medical condition will be handcuffed and a deputy will be standing alongside the medical worker.

"This is a tough thing for us to do, changing the way we do things, by assigning more staff members," said Bill Federspiel, Saginaw County Sheriff.

Federspiel says the changes are needed to ensure the safety of everyone in the jail. He says he needs more deputies in the jail, but his department recently lost one position to budget cuts. He says handing out prescription medication to inmates use to take a half an hour, now, with the changes, it's about an hour.

"The medical staff that we have on contract has to deliver 100-150 medications daily to 100-150 different patients in our jail," he said.

Debbie, the nurse in the jail cell attack, didn't want her last name used. She says she feels more secure with the changes.

"The inmates, they are shackeled, so the contact is restricted for them," she said.

She is doing her job the same way as she did before the attack.

"Still going to take care of people," she said.

Along with the changes we detailed in this story, the sheriff says a couple of other changes are being implemented this month.

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