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Nursing homes, inspectors reportedly fail to report abuse

Most people in New York would probably agree that nursing home abuse represents a significant problem. However, it may be difficult to quantify just how big a problem it is due to possible underreporting. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office of the Inspector General recently published a report alleging that although the law requires reporting of possible elder abuse to law enforcement, state inspectors and facilities often fail to comply. 

State inspectors from five states participated in the study. They seemed to be aware that the law requires them to report possible abuse to law enforcement. However, there appeared to be some confusion about the circumstances under which they are to report cases to authorities. One agency of an unspecified state seems to have had no qualms about admitting that only "the most serious abuse cases" warrant notification of law enforcement. As a result of this apparent confusion, 97% of those cases involving investigation by state inspectors allegedly remained unreported, even after substantiation. 

Taking selfies while behind the wheel can be deadly

There is no question that distracted driving can lead to deadly car accidents. In 2017 alone, accidents involving distracted driving killed 3,166 and thousands others were injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Despite New York state laws which prohibit motorists from using their hand-held cell phones while driving, people continue to text and drive. Some continue to take it a step further by taking selfies while driving and then posting them on social media sites. This practice is extremely dangerous, as it involves all three forms of distracted driving.

Drivers who take selfies while behind the wheel must take their hands off the steering wheel and eyes off the road for a significant period of time in order to snap the perfect pic. Furthermore, when taking pics and posting selfies, drivers' focus is not on the road, but on the immediate task at hand. Surprisingly enough, a number of people engage in this hazardous behavior, increasing the risk of a catastrophic accident.

Medical mistake leads to stillborn delivery

When patients are evaluated and diagnosed in an emergency room setting, all precautions should be made in order to avoid making an otherwise avoidable medical mistake. Medical professionals who make oversights and assumptions may end up making a devastating error that could take the life of an innocent person.

In this case, the medical oversight took the life of a baby, who was delivered stillborn to a transgender man. A hospital nurse performing a brief entrance evaluation, did not receive all of the information regarding the man’s sexual identity and misclassified him as obese. Although the man told the emergency room medical staff that he was transgender, his file listed him as male. This led the nurse to define him as obese rather than consider him pregnant.

Escalators present serious dangers to some individuals

Getting to upper floors of buildings requires the use of stairs, but some buildings have escalators or elevators. While there are more elevators than escalators, the rate of escalator injuries is around 15 times greater. Some of these accidents are because of improper usage, but others are due to problems with the escalators.

Buildings that utilize escalators must ensure that they are keeping them safe. Failing to ensure that they are properly maintained and failing to have customers use the escalators in a safe method can lead to serious accidents and injuries. In the most tragic cases, people have died using escalators.

The different forms of driving distractions

When reviewing car accident cases to determine liability, one of the first questions that we here at La Sorsa & Beneventano Attorneys at Law ask is whether or not distracted driving might have been involved. A common response is that the responsible driver was not using their cell phone when the collision occurred. Like most in White Plains, you might automatically equate distracted driving to cell phone use while behind the wheel. While it is true that texting or talking on a cell phone while driving can be a serious distraction, there are many other forms of distracted driving that can present just as many risks. 

To spot them, you need to understand the different types of driving distractions. Information compiled through a joint effort between The Auto Alliance and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons revealed there to be three major types of driving distractions: 

  • Visual distractions: Any activities that pull a driver's eyes away from the road
  • Manual distractions: Any activities that require a driver to take one (or both) hands off the steering wheel
  • Cognitive distractions: Any activities that pull a driver's attention off the road

Patient fatality case raises dispute about penalties

People who live in New York and are concerned about the risk of being impacted by a medical error should feel safe that if such a problem were to happen to them, it might be properly reported. Patients and their family member should also feel that they will be properly compensated after a medical mistake and that appropriate actions will be taken to prevent similar errors from happening again. In some people's minds, these actions may include punishments for the medical staff involved.

Whether or not to punish health care professionals who make mistakes appears to be front and center in the debate that has launched after a nurse has been criminally charged in the death of an elderly patient. As reported by National Public Radio, the nurse not only administered the wrong drug to a patient but bypassed safety processes that were in place in order to get the incorrect drug from the machine it was stored in.

Teen driver-involved crashes spike during “100 deadliest days”

The days are getting longer, and that means teenagers across New York will soon take to the roadways as classes wind down and they get a taste of summer freedom. Unfortunately, the uptick in teen drivers on the state and nation’s roadways means bad news for the motoring public, with the time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day so dangerous that it has become known as the “100 deadliest days.” At La Sorsa & Beneventano, we understand that far too many people suffer injuries or lose loved ones during summer’s 100 deadliest days, and we have assisted many people affected by traffic crashes pursue appropriate recourse in the aftermath.

According to AAA, fatal car crashes involving teenage drivers jump 14 percent during the 100 deadliest days, and there are a number of factors likely contributing to this increase. For starters, teenage drivers inherently lack the experience that older drivers have, and this can make it tougher for them to avoid accidents and anticipate challenges on the roadways. Furthermore, many teenage drivers speed or text and drive, and this, too, can dramatically enhance their risk of a car crash.

Women's heart attacks often missed

People who live in New York might think that the signs of a heart attack would be the same in every person. This is not actually true. In fact, new information has been uncovered that highlights key differences in symptoms often experienced by women having heart attacks than by men. The most disturbing part of this discovery is that doctors have been missing these signs too frequently - half of the time according to Healthline.

A report found that in women, symptoms other than chest pain were reported in 54.8 percent of men but were reported in 62 percent of women. For the men, doctors did not think the symptoms were connected to their hearts in 36.7 percent of the cases. For the women, doctors did not connect the symptoms to their hearts in 53 percent of the cases. This may be part of why heart disease is responsible for one in every four female deaths.

Bedsores often indicate neglect in nursing home patients

Nursing home patients face a high risk of being diagnosed with decubitus ulcers, otherwise known as bedsores. But patients don't have to be bedridden to develop bedsores. Patients who sit for long hours in the same position in a chair can also suffer from this very painful condition.

This is a condition that can almost always be prevented with good patient management techniques. Yet, analysts with the Medicare Patient Safety Monitoring System (MPSMS) determined that nationwide, the rate of pressure sores acquired in medical facilities was 4.5 percent. However, New York exceeded that rate and has the highest incidence of all 50 states at 5.2 percent.

Maternal mortality rates on the rise across the nation

As a resident of New York, you may have full faith in the quality of care you receive throughout your pregnancy. You may, too, feel equally confident about the abilities of the doctors, nurses and other caregivers at the hospital where you plan to give birth, but statistics suggest that you may be unwise to do so. At La Sorsa & Beneventano, we recognize that American maternal mortality rates are on the rise from coast to coast, and we have helped many people who lost loved ones or otherwise suffered hardship due to pregnancy-related complications seek recourse.

Per Psychology Today, roughly 700 U.S. women die because of pregnancy-related complications every year, with “pregnancy-related complications” referring to those that affect you during birth, or in the year immediately following your child’s birth. While this figure is cause for alarm in a developed country such as the United States, so, too, is the fact that about 60 percent of these fatalities were preventable.

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