Corrections officer killed in motorcycle crash in Greenfield

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A corrections officer at the Franklin County House of Correction was killed Thursday morning in a motorcycle crash as he was leaving work.

Greenfield Police Chief Robert Haigh, Jr. told 22News that 21-year-old Jacob Garmalo of Leyden was riding his motorcycle home after working the overnight shift. Garmalo’s motorcycle and a car collided on Elm Street, near the intersection of Hall Street.

Mary Carey of the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office told 22News that he was taken to Baystate Franklin Medical Center following the crash, where he died. She said that they’re still looking into what caused the crash.

Elm Street was closed for several hours while State Police investigated. The accident site was a very short distance north of the jail, which is also on Elm Street.

22News spoke with Jessica Cantigo, who witnessed the accident. She said it happened so fast, it happened in the blink of an eye. “I saw other people pull up and start running up to him. I guess they knew him, because they approached him quickly and starting calling him by his name.”

Chief Haigh said that his officers are taking the news very hard, and cannot emphasize how just sad members of the police department all feel for Garmalo’s family. He said that they also feel terrible for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, with whom they work very closely.

Co-worker and former landlord, Tony Zager said Jacob loved life and was optimistic about the future. “Couldn’t say enough about his brother and his sister and his mom and dad. He loved them so much. He just couldn’t wait to find some property and build a house. And be a career correctional officer, that’s what he loved.”

Garmalo was to have graduated from a part-time police training program the night he died. It would have enabled him to become a deputy sheriff.

Chief Haigh said it’s too early to say whether any charges will be filed in this accident.

Source: WWLP

Nursing Home Negligence

Falls in Nursing Homes

Litigators who work with cases involving long term care know how significant the issue of falls can be. Falls are the leading cause of injury and death by injury in adults over 65. Approximately half of the 1.6 million nursing home residents in the U.S. fall each year, and a report by the Office of the Inspector General found that about 10% of Medicare skilled nursing residents experience a fall resulting in significant injury; and, more than 1/3 of hospital falls result in injury. In the rehab setting, rates are often higher – for example, fall rates among stroke patients have been shown to be very high. Immobility and falls can lead to poor outcomes.

Fear of falling is defined as a geriatric syndrome. It not only occurs in older adults who have fallen, but in those with impaired mobility and is associated with decreased physical ability and depression. Care of older adults requires that clinicians be aware of the myriad of issues related to falls including knowledge of this syndrome, increased risk and interventions needed to prevent injury related to falls.

Just about every resident in a long term care setting, including assisted living and sub-acute rehab, is at risk for falling. Between medications, functional and medical issues and advancing age, older adults in most settings are prone to falling.

There are well established standards of care related to fall prevention; but, as I continue to review records related to issues like falls, I am amazed at how often these basic standards are not being practiced. The basics of a fall prevention program include assessment and ongoing reassessment of risk, ensuring a safe environment, medication review, providing therapy as needed, individualized interventions, and staff education.

Basic nursing practice includes assessment, planning (Care plan), putting interventions in place and then evaluating outcomes to determine if those interventions are appropriate and effective. Assessment includes completing fall risk assessments on admission and then as needed. Very often, the fall risk assessments completed by nurses in LTC are inaccurate. The tools utilized in long term care typically include these risk factors: history of falling, use of ambulatory aids, gait/balance issues, medications, secondary diagnoses (i.e. diabetes) and mental status. Care planning is the next step in nursing care - it is the standard of care that as the resident’s status changes, assessments and care plans must be updated, and often, are not. For example, with each fall, there should be updates, or if there is a new diagnosis, i.e. stroke, or worsening dementia, updated interventions should be put into place, with ongoing evaluation of effectiveness.

Care planning and interventions very often are generic and not individualized. For example, a toileting schedule that includes only after meals and before bedtime may not be appropriate. If a resident has issues with constipation or incontinence, this may lead to the need for more frequent toileting to prevent falls. The “make certain call bell is within reach” for residents with dementia is an example of a generic intervention. Older adults with dementia may not recognize a call bell or remember to use it. The debate about use of bed and chair alarms go on – they are a part of an individualized care plan, not a solution to preventing falls. Often, I see delays in putting interventions in place, i.e. with the resident who is incontinent NOT being put on a toileting plan immediately. The other common issue I see when reviewing records is the lack of updating care plans as the resident’s status changes – with every fall, with worsening dementia, physical decline, or new medical diagnosis (i.e. Parkinsonism).

Nurses reviewing records need to pay attention to the MDS, risk assessments, care plans and Interdisciplinary notes with attention to where the standard of care is not being met.
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6 days ago  ·  

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