Man dies in hit-run accident in Chelsea

Police seek help in finding driver

CHELSEA – Authorities are seeking the public’s help in identifying the driver of a vehicle that fatally struck a man in Chelsea and then fled early Sunday, in what investigators are calling a tragic hit-and-run that has left the victim’s family searching for answers.

Israel Sanchez, 39, crossed Route 16 just before 12:30 a.m. in the area of Washington Avenue and was struck by a vehicle in the westbound lane, “suffering mortal injuries,’’ Chelsea police and Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said yesterday in a joint statement.

Jake Wark, a spokesman for Conley, said Sanchez’s friends have said he was walking home when he was hit. Wark could not say where Sanchez was coming from.

Chelsea police Captain Keith Houghton, a department spokesman, could not confirm where Sanchez was heading but said last night that he lived very close to the scene of the crash.

Sanchez was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, according to the joint statement.

Wark said road conditions at the time of the hit-and-run are a part of the collision analysis.

The vehicle that struck Sanchez is described as small and dark-colored, with damage to its front end and a cracked or broken windshield. It may have lost a strip of molding from the windshield area, as well as a windshield wiper, authorities said.

“Mr. Sanchez’s family has suffered a terrible loss, and they’re looking for answers,’’ Conley said in the statement. “We believe the public, and specifically the area’s repair shops, may be able to help them.’’

Investigators have reached out to area mechanics, glass replacement services, and auto body shops, authorities said.

“In a time of tragedy like this, the public’s help can truly make a difference and provide some solace to the Sanchez family,’’ Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes said in the statement.

Sanchez’s family could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Anyone with information on his death is asked to call Chelsea police detectives at 617-466-4843 or the Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit at 617-727-8817.

Tipsters who wish to remain anonymous may call the Chelsea Police CrimeStoppers tip line at 617-466-4880, text the word CHELSEA and their information to TIP411 (847411), or submit information online at


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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