Safety-Campaign-on-Reducing-Drunk-DrivingFor decades, state agencies and local communities have initiated mass media campaigns to promote public health and reduce drunk driving and alcohol-related accidents. Keeping the public aware is essential because according to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), on average, 28 individuals in America lose their lives each day to alcohol-related crashes at the rate of one every 51 minutes. With more than 13,000 lives lost every year in the U.S., eliminating dangerous behavior behind the wheel can make traveling safer for everyone sharing the road.

In 1983, the NHTSA launched its “Friends Don’t Lead Friends Drive Drunk” campaign in an effort to prevent alcohol-impaired friends and family members from driving after drinking. Fifteen years later in 1998, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported that the nation had its lowest number of roadway accident fatalities involving alcohol since the government agency gathering statistics. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has continually sponsored this highly successful campaign along with others including their “Drinking and Driving Can Kill a Friendship” public safety announcement.

Surveys show that seven out of every ten Americans at some point since the campaign was initially launched have attempted to stop another person from driving after drinking. The agency’s newest campaign “Probably Okay Isn’t Okay” asks the viewer to assess how they look for obvious and not so obvious indicators of impairment on themselves and others when deciding to get behind the wheel.

Reasons for AccidentsSome of the most catastrophic accidents occur when a driver headed down the highway suddenly spots a truck or car traveling directly toward them in the wrong direction that that could cause a horrific head-on collision. Usually, these accidents are avoided because of median barriers that stop errant driving and roadway signage that clearly identifies the direction of traffic to prevent drivers from entering the road the wrong way.

However, according to statistics released by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, more than 350 individuals lose their lives every year in wrong way driving crashes even on roads where the direction of the traffic is clearly marked. Even though wrong way crashes are an uncommon occurrence, affecting just a small percentage of all accidents involving motor vehicles, these types of collisions lead the pack again all motor vehicle crashes resulting in fatalities. These types of pressures have a high fatality rate range between 12% and 27%, which is disproportionately higher than other types of vehicle-related crashes and collision.

Wrong way collisions typically involve a head-on impact at a high rate of speed that often results in a horrific injury or fatality involving both drivers and passengers. Any vehicle occupant who survives the accident usually sustains an extremely severe injury that causes long-term residual problems in the future. Most survivors require constant rehabilitation and ongoing surgeries to restore basic functions or repair broken or crossbones bones and other severe injuries to other extremities. This includes head trauma, brain injuries, whiplash, or injury to the chest, spinal cord, ribs, and/or abdomen. Paralysis is also a common result of wrong way driving crashes.

Quarterly Report Illinois Jan to March 2017The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) routinely conduct surveys on nursing homes to determine if any facility has violated regulations in the Nursing Home Care Act. The state agency is responsible for certifying skilled nursing homes and ensuring that they remain in compliance with federal and state rules. To keep the public informed, the Public Health Department releases quarterly nursing home reports and publishes the results of inspections and enforcement actions taken against the facility to ensure that residents of the home are receiving quality care in accordance with the 180 regulatory standards.

The nursing homes listed below received disciplinary action for one or more Type A (extremely serious) violation occurrences involving nursing home codes as defined by the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act. They include:

Alden Des Plaines Rehabilitation & Health Care Center

Electronic-devices-and road-safetyIllinois motorists receive constant reminders through public service announcements and safety campaigns that educate them about avoiding the use of cell phones and other electronic devices while operating their vehicle. This is because distracted driving continues to be a leading cause of fatal car accidents statewide involving writing, sending, and reading messages using an electronic device or speaking on a smartphone. The devices known to put drivers and passengers at great risk when causing a distraction include:

  • Smartphones
  • Cell phones

Traffic Safety Program in IllinoisThe Illinois State Police increased enforcement efforts to maximize the safety of the traveling public over busy holidays throughout the year by participating in traffic safety programs. The holiday safety campaigns managed by the Illinois Department of Transportation through its Bureau Safety Programs and Engineering help to reduce the number of accidents involving injuries and fatalities. Through grant funding, these campaigns allow state and local law enforcement agencies that work in conjunction to identify traffic related violations including impaired driving.

Safety Programs Catch Violators

Throughout the year, nearly 150 local and state police agencies in Illinois participate in enforcement activities during the state’s major holidays. This includes increasing patrol hours during the day and night and focusing their “concentration on impaired driving violations.” During this timeframe, citations for traffic violations rise significantly. Been stopped by the police is known to increase public awareness of the seriousness of breaking the law by driving recklessly, carelessly, distracted or drunk. Citations involving occupant restraint violations also increase during daylight hours, when observing the driver can be conducted.

monsanto safety documents to be discolsedMonsanto is catching a lot of heat now that a court has unsealed documents that cast the company in a negative light and suggest that it was responsible for providing false assertions to the government and public regarding the safety of Roundup. As the most popular herbicide in the world, Roundup and similar products produced by Monsanto are used across the globe for the elimination of pests from lawns, crops, gardens and nurseries. It has provided research that opposes the belief Roundup’s main active ingredient can cause cancer, but the documents unsealed by the court show that these accounts were misleading and, in some cases, false.

Ghostwritten Research

The research that was presented to defend the safety of its products was in fact, ghostwritten and attributed to academics. It also claimed that a senior EPA official attempted to dismiss a report from the United States Department of Health and Human Services that the product could in fact be linked to the deaths of numerous people who suffered from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The evidence tells a story of arguments within the Environmental Protection Agency and conflicting beliefs over whether Roundup and similar products were safe to use.

Choking in Nursing HomesA nursing home located in Wicker Park, on the West Side of Chicago, has agreed to a settlement of $875,000 after nurses failed to follow doctors’ orders and a patient died. The elderly man who died was provided food that was not permitted in his diet program and was allowed to eat unsupervised, even though he was at high risk of choking. Antonio Mares died on November 9, 2012 when a nursing assistant was unable to properly perform the Heimlich maneuver while he was choking. His family has stated that this case is an example of what happens when there is no oversight over the standards of training for nursing center employees.

Physician’s Orders Reflected Patient’s Special Needs

Antonio Mares was prescribed a diet of mechanical-soft food by his doctor due to medical complications which increased his risk of choking. As he was at an elevated risk, he was also to only be fed while under the supervision of a nurse or nursing assistant. On November 9, 2012, both of these directives were ignored when a certified nursing assistant provided him with a tray of food that did not meet his dietary specifications and then proceeded to leave him to eat unsupervised.

Car Headlights and SafetyNumerous studies have shown that a practice as simple as turning on your headlights whenever you are driving may reduce your chances of being in an accident. While car manufacturers are beginning to produce more vehicles with daytime running lights, this is not mandated by the government and most vehicles remain without them. Since it would take an incredibly long time to phase out all of the cars and trucks on the road today in order to replace them with vehicles that used daytime running lights, there is a debate running that the burden should instead be on drivers to run their lights at all times via the introduction of new laws.

Headlights Make Cars More Visible During the Day

Even though headlights are most effective at night and during inclement weather, research is showing that they do make vehicles more visible to other motorists during a clear day as well. While each study varies, some have noted that headlight use during the day has resulted in a reduction of accidents by up to 10%. The types of accidents which were prevented were more significant, however.

Anesthesiology and Medication ErrorsRecent reports have indicated that many anesthesiology related medical errors are going unreported because physicians fear reprisal if they indicate that an error occurred. This is cause for concern because it obviously skews medical reporting data and may be hiding a much larger problem with medical negligence due to the failure of anesthesiologists to properly dose patients undergoing sedation based on factors such as their medical history, age and other factors. With data suggesting that as many as 98,000 people could be dying due to these errors, it is especially problematic that doctors are brushing their errors under the rug in order to avoid being held liable.

Self-Reporting of Medical Errors is Suspiciously Low

A study performed by the University of Michigan found that when physicians were left to report their own errors, there was an incredibly low incident rate compared to the number of reports made by patients alleging they suffered injury. Out of 434,554 cases, only 238 medication errors were reported by doctors, making the self-report incident rate only 5.5 per 10,000 cases. This also suggests that the problem is far more serious than previously suspected.

Nursing Home and ResuscitationA Highland Park family is suing the nursing home responsible for caring for their mother after staff members failed to make any attempts to revive her after viewing her lifeless body. The incident seems to be the result of staff members wrongly reading her chart, which indicated that she did wish to be resuscitated in such a situation. Her family is filing a lawsuit because multiple staff members refused to respond or even to seek emergency medical attention for the woman, who died at the age of 52 years. Despite video evidence showing the negligent care, the nursing home asserts that it provides quality care and did nothing wrong.

Routine Care Turns Deadly

Kim Cencula was admitted to the Warren Barr Nursing Home to recover after fighting pneumonia and suffered from diabetes and renal failure. The complications linked to her diabetes were why she and her family elected to admit her into the care of the nursing center while she recovered. Now, her family members regret the decision and believe that she would still be alive if she had stayed at home or been admitted to a different facility.

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