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Nurse cleared in Island County jail dehydration death

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COUPEVILLE, Wash. (AP) — The state nursing commission won’t take disciplinary action against a former Island County Jail nurse who saw a 25-year-old inmate the day before he died of dehydration and malnutrition.

The Daily Herald reports that Nancy Barker was cleared by the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission despite concerns she failed to adequately care for Keaton Farris. He died April 7. An investigation revealed the water to his cell had been turned off and officers failed to check on him.

The commission’s Karl Hoehn says “the commission didn’t see a good reason to pursue discipline against this nurse.”

The commission found that prior to April 6, when Barker stood outside Farris’ jail cell for about two minutes, Barker had no contact with Farris and didn’t have his medical records. She also said no one told her Farris had been refusing food and water.

Fred Farris says his son deserved better medical care than a quick once-over by a nurse.