Cleveland Ohio Injury Blog

Nursing home suicides climb, according to report

Suicide deaths among older adults, reflecting the national trend among all age groups, are climbing. Older Americans residing in nursing homes, assisted living centers and adult care homes are part of this troubling trend, according to a six-month investigation by Kaiser Health News and PBS NewsHour. This raises the issue of whether facilities are engaged in nursing home neglect and abuse by failing to recognize warning signs and preventing suicide.

Although poor documentation restricts exact calculations, hundreds of suicides by older adults was related to long-term care. At least one of these suicides occurred daily. Research also shows that a third of residents report that they have suicidal thoughts.

Unsafe roads cause catastrophic Ohio accidents

Sharp drop-offs are frequent when old roads undergo a series of repaving, but county planners congratulate themselves when they save money by not paying to blend the roadsides in a smooth decrease down to the shoulder. There are hundreds of these rural death-traps in Ohio. Until a vehicle's tires hit the fatal edge, unaware travelers cannot know how quickly their lives may change—or end.

Catastrophic injuries to unsuspecting drivers are routine in Ohio. Drop-off edges channel tires next to the road surface. It takes extra effort by the driver to pull the vehicle back onto the road over the high edge; consequently, the vehicle jumps forcefully up onto the pavement, causing many drivers to lose control. Their vehicles often careen across the median line into oncoming traffic.

The prevalence of catastrophic injury and death in America

A federal agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, works to improve public health in the United States. The CDC is a branch of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Many news sources cite statistics from the CDC's annual report listing the top 10 causes of catastrophic injury or death.

The public is aware that heart disease and cancer usually top the annual lists; they occupy first and second place on the CDC's 2017 list. The CDC lists accidents as the third highest cause of death in 2017.

Catastrophic injuries jump at trampoline parks

Trampoline parks have surged in popularity and became a billion-dollar industry with hundreds of children bouncing and playing tag at these parks every weekend. But at least six people reportedly died in fatal injuries over the last seven years and others have suffered catastrophic injuries in accidents at these parks.

The injury rate may be even higher because many injured plaintiffs had to participate in arbitration and sign confidentiality agreements that prevent them from discussing their injuries, according to CBS News. The Consumer Product Safety Commission found that emergency room visits from trampoline park injuries rose dramatically from 2,500 in 2013 to almost 18,000 in 2017.

Feds cite Xenia nursing home

Nursing homes are legally required to provide a reasonable level of care and treat residents with dignity. The federal government and Ohio can impose numerous penalties for nursing home neglect and abuse. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently gave notice to a Xenia nursing home that it will not make Medicare and Medicaid payments to the facility because of several citations over patient care.

The facility has 99 beds and approximately 90 employees. According to state Department of Health citations, a resident fractured her femur when her leg was bent backwards during a transfer from a bed to a wheelchair on a lift device last Oct.

Misdiagnosis cited for medical malpractice involving children

A foundation of proper Ohio medical care is correctly diagnosing of sickness or injuries. However, misdiagnosis is the main cause for medical malpractice lawsuits involving patients who were children, according to a recent study.

The top malpractice claim involving children from one month to 17-years-old was blamed on a missed, failed or incorrect diagnosis which was largely based on an inadequate medical assessment. This was also the second most prevalent allegation in cases involving infants who were less than one month old.

Medical record confidentiality threatened

Ohio medical negligence is not limited to surgical error or misdiagnosis. Although laws, such as the Health Insurance and Portability Act (HIPAA), are intended to protect patient information, there have been concerns over health care workers looking through medical records for curiosity instead of legitimate care. This has prompted medical malpractice lawsuits in states.

Most recently, dozens of employees at Chicago's Northwestern Merial Hospital were terminated after they allegedly inappropriately viewed the medical records of Empire cast member Jussie Smollett who was treated in its emergency room after he claimed he was attacked. A nurse claimed that this was a misunderstanding because she and many other employees scrolled past his records when they were looking for another patient's information.

Falls kill about 1,800 U.S. nursing-home residents annually

Transitioning a parent into life at a nursing home or continuing care facility can prove emotional and difficult under the best of circumstances. However, it can be even more of a struggle if you have concerns about the quality of care your parent will receive while there.

Unfortunately, many American nursing homes offer less-than-ideal living environments for residents, and many also suffer from chronic understaffing issues, which can have a direct impact on quality of care. Falls, for example, are a major problem among nursing-home residents, per Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, but understaffing and other problems common in these facilities can make your loved one more likely to fall and suffer an injury.

Malfunctioning medical device information being suppressed

Physician negligence may cause a surgical or other fatal medical error. Malfunctioning medical devices can also play a large role in medical malpractice. However, a recent report shows that the US Food and Drug Administration grants exemptions allowing them to file reports on faulty equipment in a database that is hidden from doctors and researchers.

Kaiser Health News found that at least 1.1 million incidents over defective medical equipment went into an internal FDA alternative summary reporting repository instead of being individually listed in a widely-scrutinized MAUDE public database. Medical experts relied on this database to identify issues that may place patients into danger.

Ohio truck driver deemed hazardous to public safety

Truck drivers may pose a threat to the public. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) may declare truckers as an imminent threat to the public health and safety and take them off the road. Late last year, it found that an Ohio truck driver constituted an immediate threat after two fatal truck accidents.

In December, he crashed into a highway construction worker who was standing next to a parked vehicle on U.S. 33 in Union County. The collision occurred when he drove onto the white line indicating the highway's roadway shoulder known as the fog line. He did not stop and drove away after hitting the worker. Law enforcement is still investigating this accident.


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