Leaving your aging loved ones in the care of a nursing home can be very stressful for you and your elderly relatives. These are family members who have guided you and your family through the good times and the bad. They were there during your first break up, your first job, and dispensed their loving advice freely. It is only right that after all they have done for you and your family that they are offered the same loving care in their later years when they are no longer able to care for themselves. Unfortunately, negligence and nursing home neglect is often overlooked when finding a suitable retirement home for your loved one. According to CBS News, nursing home abuse is on the rise and happens far more often than many would imagine. Nursing home negligence can lead to the deterioration of the health of the residents and in extreme cases it can even end in death.
Nursing Home Negligence
The most common form of negligence in a nursing home happens when the elderly resident is neglected. This kind of abusive neglect may happen when the person is left without help in performing personal hygiene tasks such as grooming, bathing, and changing into clean clothes; elderly persons may also be left without proper nutrition, hydration, and lack of proper medical care.
Signs of Neglect and Reporting Negligence
If your loved one in a nursing home has been neglected, you may notice the following:
Generally dirty living conditions
Rapid weight loss
Sudden decline in health
Emotional issues including depression and disconnection
The first stage of getting help for your loved one is expressing your concerns with the director of the facility you are at – if the facility is reputable they will investigate the situation and make reprimands to the responsible party/parties. If the situation continues you can make a formal complaint with your state’s department of health. For information on your state’s reporting system, check the information on The U.S. Administration of Aging’s website.
The emergency room is undoubtedly one of the most hectic and chaotic places with over 136 million visitors each year, according to the CDC. Doctors, nurses, and other staff members have to move at a rapid pace and deal with unpredictable conditions on a daily, and sometimes hourly, basis. The risk for medical error in an emergency room is high; everyone is working at a much faster pace and under extreme stress. Sadly, when a mishap does occur, the complications can be much worse since the patient was already experiencing an extreme illness which got them there in the first place.
Injuries from Mistakes in the ER
Common errors in the emergency room include:
Misdiagnosis of strokes, heart attacks, and other life threatening illnesses
Failure to accurately fill out patient charts
Double dosing medications or giving an incorrect amount of medication
Failure to perform proper observation
Contamination of equipment
Cross contamination from other patients as a result of poor staff hygiene
Misreading of X-rays
Administering tainted blood during transfusions
The above mentioned errors are called medical malpractice and can lead to permanent illness and even death.
Protecting Yourself from Errors
For many patients and family members of patients, their visit to the ER is their first one and they wouldn’t easily recognize errors. In most circumstances, the patient and family members are extremely worried and stressed and have to lean on the ER staff by putting all of their trust in the doctors. If they do notice an error, they’re unlikely to speak up for fear that it will distract the nurse or physician ever further.
To avoid errors there’s a few things a patient or family moment can do:
Ask nurses and doctors to wash their hands before examination
Request that the equipment be cleaned or new sterile equipment be used
When a diagnosis is given, ask questions and express concern
Ask to see your chart and records
Get a second opinion before making decisions on procedures or surgeries
Fresenius Medical Care is the world’s largest dialysis services provider and has recently come under scrutiny because of one of its dialysis products called GranuFlo. GranuFlo is a dialysate that helps to remove toxins and neutralize acids in the blood when a person’s kidneys are no longer able to do so. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently took action against Fresenius Medical Care by issuing a Class 1 recall of GranuFlo, the strongest recall action that the FDA can take.
The dangers of GranuFlo are related to the amount of bicarbonates that this medication produces in the blood stream when used in dialysis treatments. For many individuals, the presence of too much bicarbonates in the blood can lead to devastating side effects, predominantly affecting the heart and related body systems. Some of the most commonly reported side effects of GranuFlo use have been heart attack, low blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, stroke, and unfortunately, death.
Many individuals who have suffered these side effects, or who have had family members pass because of GranuFlo use, have taken legal action against Fresenius Medical Care in an effort to secure financial compensation for their unnecessary suffering, and to hold this company responsible for the damage that their negligence has caused. Plaintiffs claim that Fresenius Medical Care failed to properly label and warn individuals about the dangers associated with GranuFlo use and as such, should be held liable for the devastating consequences that have resulted.
Through a successful GranuFlo lawsuit, victims and their families may be able to receive compensation for a number of damages, including the costs of medical care, wages that were lost due to time spent away from work recovering, emotional trauma, pain and suffering, ongoing rehabilitation costs, pharmaceutical bills, and wrongful death compensation for families who had a loved one pass away.
A pedestrian is a person who is traveling on or near the road on foot, in a wheelchair, skateboard, stroller and similar means of personal transportation. Injuries in a pedestrian involved accident can be very severe, many fatal. Awareness for both drivers and people using non-motorized transportation can help prevent many of these accidents and help save lives.
Facts About Pedestrian Injuries
Over 4,000 people are killed by motor vehicles while on foot each year – this is a 23% decrease since 1995
70,000 people are injured by motorists annually – a number which has also decreased in the past 15 years
3 out of every 4 pedestrian fatalities occur in urban areas
California, Texas, New York, and Florida make up 51% of pedestrian related fatalities in this country, but only 5% of total traffic fatalities across the nation
48% of pedestrian deaths happen on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
70% of deaths of foot travelers happen between 4 pm and 4 am.
Pedestrians are 1-1/2 times more likely to be killed on foot by a motor vehicle than if they were a passenger in a car during an accident
Safety as a Pedestrian
Accidents happen that are beyond the control of the pedestrian; most of the time, when a pedestrian is involved in an accident with a vehicle it’s almost always the fault of the motorist. Young children and the elderly are at the most risk for injury by a motor vehicle and therefore should be assisted and/or supervised when close to roads and traffic. People on foot should avoid restricted zones such as interstates and should use crosswalks accordingly. If a sidewalk is available, always use it; if no sidewalk is present, always travel facing traffic. To ensure that drivers can see you, wear light colors, especially at night. Always use extreme caution and never assume that a driver sees you without making eye contact and exchanging gestures before crossing in front of a car. Read more about pedestrian safety on the CDC webpage.
A daycare operator in Austin is currently on trial for the murder of four children at the daycare operation she ran out of her home. Jessica Tata was cooking a pan of oil on the stove, according to the prosecution’s case against her, when she left the children at her daycare unsupervised to go to the store to pick up groceries. While she was gone, the oil caught on fire, killing four children and injuring several others. Her defense attorneys argue that it was a mechanical defect that caused the fire to occur.
I don’t know the details of this case well enough to provide a fully informed assessment of where I stand on this, but at least a cursory examination of the situation gives me a lot of reason to think that the verdict shouldn’t be too hard for the jury to make. Anyone who leaves a pan of oil burning on a stove in a house where any children are unattended, let alone as many as were in her care, is at the very least grossly negligent, and if a criminal prosecutor can’t secure a guilty verdict against her, an Austin employment attorney should be able to prove negligence in a civil case. When that negligence causes the loss of innocent lives, that person needs to be held accountable for their actions.