Woman dead, 2 children injured in head-on crash with cement truck

OXFORD, Mass. —A man driving behind the victim of a head-on crash in Oxford Monday morning said he didn’t hesitate to try and help the victims in the moments after the fatal crash.

“I said, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God. I just lost it,'” said RobesPierre LaFleur.

He said he was already writhing in pain from the moment the vehicle crashed into his, but immediately ran to the car that was just crushed by the 45-ton cement truck on Route 20.

“I was trying to help the mother,” he said. “When I touched her, and I said, ‘Mom, are you OK?'”

He said he could tell the 31-year-old Sturbridge woman didn’t survive the violent impact, but then saw two children in the back seat.

“I saw the little boy still in the car seat, so I tried to get him out,” he said. “He was coming in and out of consciousness. He said he held the child for a while before noticing an 8-month-old boy.

“He was so crushed against the door and seat belt,” he said.

First responders were finally able to free the infant, who is currently on life support.
State police said the woman was headed east on Route 20 when she crossed the center line and collided with the truck. The force of the collision sent the vehicle back into eastbound lane, and crashed into LaFleur’s vehicle.

“She was trying to get control of the vehicle back,” he said. “She went onto the opposite way. That’s when she went under the truck.”

“There was a child’s cup on the ground,” said Norel Cronin, who saw the crash scene.

A 2-year-old boy in the woman’s car also suffered serious injuries and is at a local hospital.

LaFleur said he is in agony over the loss of the woman.

“Our prayer goes to her family and the babies,” he said. “I hope they make it.”

Source: WCVB

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.
... See MoreSee Less

6 days ago  ·  

View on Facebook