Flood Waters Rise As Storm Winds Down [10 victims hired us]

Residents Keeping Eyes On Swelling Rivers

BOSTON — Rising flood waters are threatening many Bay State neighborhoods Wednesday as flood-weary residents are watching and waiting for the rain to come to an end.

The rising Sudbury River was causing problems in Framingham, where many homes and businesses were dealing with the flood.

“It’s the highest we’ve ever seen it in the five years the town has owned the building,” said Dave Demeo, of Framingham Building Services.

A couple hundred seniors were forced from the Callahan Center because of flooding. The Main Street Bridge was closed as the river continues to rise. It’s about 14 feet above flood stage, and many houses along the river are flooded.

Twelve people, including a pregnant woman, were hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning after a gasoline-powered water pump was left on overnight in Peabody Square.

“They had readings of anywhere from 150 parts per million down to as low as 35. So, right now, from what we’ve been able to ascertain, this has been running since 11 p.m.,” said Peabody Fire Department Chief Steven Pasdon. “They simply had a carbon monoxide detector that went off — hence that new carbon monoxide detector law paid off.”

At this point, it’s not clear who activated the pump, but officials said the attempt to minimize flood damage may have inadvertently caused bodily harm.

Flood-related problems bubbled up all over Peabody. Some roads are under several feet of water. A few drivers fought the flood — and the flood won.

“People go down the street. You can see them. They’ll pull up to the water. They think, ‘I can make it’,'” said Perry Baw, of Peabody.

Scores of businesses are closed, and others are nearly inaccessible.

Flooding in Freetown trapped a neighborhood of about 1,000 residents when the Narrows Bridge washed out.

Highway crews brought in tons of stone to try to shore up the bridge to fill in sinkholes, but state police said they weren’t taking any chances and officials said the bridge will stay closed at least for another day.

The National Guard brought in 13 truckloads of sandbags, and only emergency vehicles and transportation vehicles will be allowed in the water.

Travelers were urged to avoid using Route 140 between the Route 24 interchange in Taunton and the Route 6 interchange in New Bedford. The roadway is heavily flooded and is shutdown in both directions between exits 7 and 9 in Freetown.

On the south shore, waters rushing underneath Mount Hope Street in Fall River caused it to buckle, sending more water into the street and nearby basements.

Homes are totally submerged in waves on Greenleaf Street. Residents who have lived in the neighborhood for 50 years said they have never seen anything like it before.

The National Guard brought in sandbags to help in an effort to keep homeowners in their homes.

State officials are keeping their eyes on 39 dams, including the Upper Mystic Lake Dam in Arlington. It felt the strain during the last storm earlier this month.

Once conservation officials saw the forecasts for more rain this week, they took steps to protect the dams in Arlington and elsewhere.

Officials are also monitoring the Forge Pond Dam in Freetown, where crews plan a controlled breach next week to ease pressure on the 300-year-old structure.

“It’s kind of a hassle. You can’t go right, can’t go straight so you’re kind of doing a roundabout with everybody else,” one commuter said.

In Natick, waterways are spilling over, bathing sidewalks and pooling onto one of the town’s busiest intersections — Route 135 and Speen Street.

The public works director said the culvert is compromised, so the water isn’t moving. The Natick Dam is also overflowing, flooding homes and a school.

“It’s a headache from a financial stand point because this kind of stuff you can not plan for financially. We do have some built in overtime, but between the last storm and this one our crews are working numerous hours,” Natick Public Works Director Bill Lacouture said.

Besides securing the road, crews are cleaning out debris swept away by the water.

Amtrak suspended Acela Express service Wednesday between New Haven, Conn., and Boston because of high water conditions along the tracks in Rhode Island. The company said regional service will continue to operate, but passengers should expect delays.

The storm not only brought down rain, but decades-old weather records. Blue Hill Observatory recorded the wettest month ever, with rainfall totals of 18.81 inches.


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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