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State Police Investigating Fatal Hit and Run in Seekonk

SEEKONK – Last night at 11:25 p.m., troopers assigned to the State Police Barracks in Dartmouth responded to a report of a pedestrian being struck on Route195 westbound, in the vicinity of Exit one in Seekonk. The victim, a young man, suffered fatal injuries in the crash.

State Police are seeking the public’s help in locating the car that hit the young man.

Preliminary investigation by Trooper Allyson Powell indicates that Jacob M. Mayo,18, of Seekonk, was on foot in the breakdown lane when he was struck by a passing car. Mayo suffered serious injuries and was transported to Rhode Island Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased. The operator of the car that struck Mayo fled the scene.

The investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the crash, including why the victim was in the breakdown lane, is being conducted by Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police with the assistance of the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, the State Police Crime Scene Services Section, and State Police detectives assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.

Evidence gathered at the scene indicates the vehicle involved is possibly a red 2000 to 2005 Hyundai Accent with front end damage and a damaged windshield, and which is missing the right side view mirror. Anyone with information regarding this crash is requested to call the State Police Barracks in Dartmouth at (508) 993-8373.

State Police were also assisted at the scene by the Seekonk Fire Department and the Highway Division of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

During the crash investigation, the far right travel lane and breakdown lane were closed for approximately one hour.

Hit & Run Suspect Vehicle –12/17/2010 11:30pm
Route 195 WB, Seekonk

Red Hyundai Accent – possible years 2000-2005
Similar in appearance to vehicle shown

May possibly have damage to right side of hood & fender and windshield.

Any information please contact MSP Dartmouth @ 1-508-993-8373

Source:  mass.gov


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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