By simply noting red-flag concerns front and center of a patient’s file, child welfare workers can protect children from being seriously abused, injured or killed. In a recent article in Youth Today, Daniel Pollack, a professor at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University in New York City and a frequent expert witness in child welfare cases describes how crucial information related to a child’s personal safety can get buried into electronic files and later lead to disaster. For example red flag sentences such as “Johnny is a runner. He needs to be watched at all time” should not be hidden somewhere in the child’s file but should be front and center of the file so, as time goes by, the next person to open the file will make sure Johnny doesn’t get killed running into traffic.
A 54 year old woman died in a bus accident yesterday night. The bus was traveling from New York City to North Carolina when the bus driver, 23 year old Eric Jimmerson from New York, fell asleep near Benson North Carolina on Interstate 95. The bus crossed the median heading towards a car coming in the opposite direction. The driver of the car swerved, trying to avoid the bus and crashed into a tree. He was seriously injured and his wife who was in the passenger seat died in the accident. Their 12 and 13 year old children who were sitting in the back were also injured. The New York bus driver was in critical condition after he was ejected from the bus. He may face charges. Four other passengers on the bus suffered personal injury. Read more here
Furniture and TV tip-overs are among the top cause of deaths and personal injuries around the house. Every 24 minutes in the US a child is sent to the emergency room because of a fallen TV or tipped furniture. Every 15 minutes someone in the U.S. is injured by furniture tip-over and on average, one child dies every two weeks when a TV or furniture falls onto him or her.
“Anchor It”, a new national safety campaign outlines the dangers of tip-overs and explains how easy it is to anchor furniture and TVs properly.
Families with children can easily prevent tip-over accidents by making sure televisions are placed on stable and sturdy furniture designed for this purpose. Wall mounted TVs are the best way to prevent tip-over but when TVs are not wall mounted they should be anchored to the wall. Heavy furniture should also be anchored with anti-tip brackets. Small objects on top of furniture that may tempt children to climb onto the furniture to grab them should also be removed.
Half a million people suffered personal injury and 1,700 died in more than 1.7 million rear-end vehicle accidents in 2012 in the US. Many of these accidents could have been avoided or at least mitigated if vehicles were equipped with collision warning systems paired with active braking systems according to a new Special Investigation Report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) entitled “The Use of Forward Collision Avoidance Systems to Prevent and Mitigate Rear-End Crashes“. In the report the NTSB demonstrates the efficiency of such systems and criticizes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for not doing enough and being to slow in implementing performance standards for these technologies. The report also notes that manufacturers have too little incentive to add these technologies to their new vehicles.
If a nursing home resident who suffers from dementia or Alzheimers gets injured because he or she wandered unsafely or into unsafe places, got hurt, eloped, got lost or became trapped in unsafe areas, the nursing home can be held liable for negligence because it failed to proprely supervise the resident. Incidents of unsafe wandering happen most often in nursing homes that are understaffed or in which the staff is not proprely trained.
Because wandering represents a significant safety risk to older adults with dementia it is often a reason why a family makes the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home. A good nursing home will train employees on how to prevent unsafe wandering and elopement, assess each patient on a regular basis as to his or her propensity to wander and balance safety and autonomy while implementing measures to deter unsafe wandering.
Families also need to understand the risks of unsafe wandering and elopement and what they can do to help. Discussions may prepare residents and family members who may be unused to seeing wandering behavior in others, and because residents may begin wandering after moving in, discussions might invite more conversation about past or current behaviors.
An Amtrak train heading from New York to Washington DC derailed yesterday night in Philadelphia. 6 people died and many the 243 passengers of suffered personal injury and were taken to the hospital. Among the people injured 6 of them were in critical condition. The Amtrak accident happened yesterday night around 9:30 close to Frankford Avenue and Wheatsheaf Lane near a bend in the track. One of the nation’s deadliest railroad accidents happened in the same spot on Labor Day 1943. A train carrying military service members on leave derailed killing 79 of them and injuring 117. The cause of yesterday’s train accident is still unknown. Speed as well deteriorating infrastructure and aging equipment are among the potential factors to be investigated. Former Congressman Patrick J. Murphy was on board when the accident happened and tweeted the pictures on the left.
Read more about this train accident in the New York Times
Parents can play a big role in helping their children become safe drivers and avoid being injured or killed in a car accident. Thursday April 28th at 1:00 PM CST, the National Safety Council is organizing a webinar during which Jessica Mirman, PhD, a behavioral scientist and researcher on the Center for Injury Research and Prevention HOP’s Teen Driver Safety Research team, will share her recent research on the effectiveness of TeenDrivingPlan, a prototype interactive web-based application to help parents more effectively supervise driving practice. Another speaker Kathy Bernstein, senior manager of Teen Driving Initiatives for the National Safety Council, will talk about DriveitHome– a new resource from the National Safety Council designed to support parents of newly licensed teens. Read more here
Medical errors and adverse events are among the leading causes of death and personal injury in the U.S. According to a recent study in the Journal of Patient Safety the number of premature deaths associated with preventable harm to patients is estimated at more than 400,000 per year. Serious harm seems to be 10- to 20-fold more common than lethal harm.
The patient safety awareness week is an annual campaign led by the National Patient Safety Foundation to create awareness about patient safety among healthcare providers and their patients. The campaign is running this week and the subject is “United in safety” . The emphasis is on better communication between healthcare providers and patients to reduce adverse events or medical errors.
Tomorrow Wednesday March 11th at 8:30 pm ET anyone interested can join a twitter chat on patient and family engagement using #PSAWunited to participate. People interested can also join a free webcast on patient safety on Thursday March 12th.
After two patients died and many other suffered personal injury from a recent “superbug”outbreak involving duodenoscopes, the safety of these medical devices (see previous blog) and the method used by hospitals to reprocess them are being questioned. In a recent Hazard Report, the ECRI Institute is recommending culturing Duodenoscopes as a key step to reducing carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). The Institute believes that duodenoscope procedures are vital when treating and diagnosing conditions of the gall bladder and pancreas with Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedures and the risk of infection can be mitigated if hospitals upgrade their reprocessing methods by also scope culturing.The Institute recommemds that hospitals not only check with the duodenoscope manufacturer as to whether they are using the appropriate reprocessing method but also add a baseline culture of all duodenoscpoes. Read the complete ECRI High Priority Hazard Report
Picture Duodenoscopy image of two pigment stones extracted from common bile duct courtesy of Wikipedia
35,400 people died and 4.3 million people suffered personal injury that required medical attention last year on American roads according to preliminary statistics from the National Safety Council (NSC). The number of crash fatalities is 0.5% higher than in 2013 however because 2014 was a year of economical expansion during which the estimated mileage on US roads increased 1.4%, the estimated annual mileage death rate was 1.18 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, a decrease of 1% from the 2013 rate. It is also the lowest NSC preliminary estimate ever recorded. The number of personal injuries that occurred during a crash in 2014 was unchanged. Read more in Automotive Fleeet