Doctor: Obese Inmate’s Veins Inaccessible

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Ronald Post

COLUMBUS, Ohio — In a new court filing, a Columbus doctor says successful lethal injection would be extremely unlikely for death row inmate Ronald Post due to his weight.

Post, 53, is scheduled to die in January for the 1983 murder of Helen Vantz, who worked as a hotel clerk at the Slumber Inn in Elyria.

Post has asked that his execution be delayed, stating his weight could lead to a torturous death during the lethal injection and that gurneys would not hold him. The state claims Post weighs 396 pounds. His attorneys claim he weighs 480 pounds.

The court documents filed Thursday said Post was examined by Dr. Sergio Bergese, an anesthesiologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

In the documents, Bergese said “a successful insertion of an intravenous catheter in Post would be extremely unlikely.” Bergese said the execution team would likely not be able to find a viable vein in Post’s arms, legs, neck or even torso due to his body fat.

He said Post weighs around 400 pounds.

The documented results of the examination will now become part of Post’s appeal file. The state has opposed his request to delay the execution.

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