Goya workers in fatal crash, pair strikes truck on way to work

The general manager of Goya Foods of Massachusetts said two Woonsocket, R.I., men killed in an accident early yesterday morning on Route 16 in Douglas were workers at the company’s site in Webster.

Goya General Manager Carlos M. Mangual said Marcos Vargas, 40, and Hugo Leonel Garcia-Deleon, 27, were well-liked by other workers at the company, which employs about two dozen people at 5 Goya Drive, Webster. Mr. Mangual said Mr. Vargas drove a truck for Goya Foods for about three years; Mr. Garcia-Deleon, his helper, was his cousin. They were heading to work when the accident occurred, Mr. Mangual said.

“They were good workers,” Mr. Mangual said. “It is a great loss to Goya.”

The 2001 Toyota Camry Mr. Vargas was driving westbound collided about 4:30 yesterday morning with a Goya Foods tractor-trailer being driven east by Joel A. Lasanta, 28, of North Oxford, according to police. The accident happened about half a mile west of Cedar Street, Douglas.

Douglas Police Chief Patrick Foley said the victims, both of 108 Morin Heights Blvd., Woonsocket, were taken to Harrington Hospital in Southbridge, where they were pronounced dead.

The truck driver saw the car driver having difficulty maintaining control, Chief Foley said. The Camry slid sideways into the tractor-trailer, according to Chief Foley, and came to a stop in the east lane and the truck came to a stop in the middle of the road.

Chief Foley said the truck driver did everything he could to avoid the car, but the car wound up crashing into the trailer.

“The truck had no place to go,” Chief Foley said.

Douglas police said highway department trucks had been called out at 4 a.m. to work on snow-covered roads.

Mr. Lasanta and a passenger in the truck, Julio F. Morales, 23, of Webster, were not injured, police said. Mr. Lasanta, who was being assisted in this morning’s delivery run to Boston by Mr. Morales, has been a truck driver for Goya for about 18 months.

“He’s taking it very hard,” Mr. Mangual said of Mr. Lasanta. “He said there was nothing he could do to avoid the accident.”

News of the fatalities spread quickly at the company site near Route 12, which is primarily a dispatch center for the delivery of Goya Foods in the area.

“It’s a very somber day,” Mr. Mangual said. “They don’t believe what happened.”

“They’re good people,” Mr. Mangual said of all the people involved in yesterday’s accident.

“Everybody liked them,” Mr. Mangual said of Mr. Vargas and Mr. Garcia-Deleon. “We are a family here. We treat everybody like family.”

Route 16 was closed for about five hours so local and state police could investigate.


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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