Health officials investigate neglect charges at facility

first_imgThe second facility also discovered that Amparo Serna had suffered a mild stroke while at the Montebello center, was malnourished and had a urinary tract infection, according to Jenice Serna. Jenice Serna said her aunt “kept scratching so hard, we were afraid she’d scrape herself and get infected.” “Her diaper was always full, and they’d take so long to come and clean her. I made a lot of complaints to the supervisor, the social worker and to her HMO, but no one ever did anything about it. “Finally, I called the Health Department,” she added. Stephanie Cruz’s father Rudy Cruz, 55, became a long-term patient at the Rio Hondo center after suffering a brain aneurism in 2004. She said poor care at the facility nearly resulted in her father’s leg being amputated after a fall at the center. “He fell in the shower and got big two-inch square cuts on his legs,” Stephanie Cruz said. “They didn’t treat it enough and it … got infected. He got a high fever and had to be hospitalized with a bacterial infection. The doctor told me if he had been diabetic, he probably would have lost his leg.” Other relatives of patients also complained to a reporter about patient neglect. Krystal Acosta said she worked as a nurse at the Montebello center but quit in March. She said nurses there are overworked and burdened with too many patients to care for. “I worked seven 16-hour shifts one month, back-to-back,” said Acosta, 24. “I don’t know how many times I didn’t eat anything all day.” Acosta said some nurses at the center care for as many as 90 patients during an 8-hour period. According to the Department of Heath Services, the minimum amount of time a nurse spends with a patient must be 3.8 hours, or approximately 2-3 patients to one nurse. “We have 37 patients to one nurse in our express rehab,” said Acosta. “And we have between 30 to 50 patients to one nurse for our long-term patients.” Chatelle said she could not confirm the patient ratios cited by Acosta. pam.wight@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! State health officials are investigating a reported case of scabies and other possible instances of patient neglect at a sub-acute care facility in Montebello, officials said. The investigation involves the Rio Hondo Subacute and Nursing Center, where the family of at least one patient reported their relative contracted the highly contagious skin infestation but never received proper treatment, state Department of Health Services officials said. By state law, all instances of the condition, which is caused by mites, must be reported to the department, but that does not appear to be the case at the Montebello facility, said Norma Arceo, spokeswoman for the health services department. “All health-care facilities are required to report every scabies case and to isolate them. They never made a scabies report to us in the last few months,” she said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventMelody Chatelle, spokeswoman for the Rio Hondo Subacute and Nursing Center, denied her facility had any recent cases of scabies. She said, however, that some patients had broken out with rashes. “There have been no scabies outbreaks that I’m aware of,” she said. “But if there were, we are bound to report them. We did have some patients with rashes. We just passed a state survey and we invite anyone to come and see our facility. We stand by our record.” But the families of some patients tell stories of serious patient neglect at the center. Jenice Serna said she was told for weeks that her aunt’s rash was a reaction to laundry detergent used to clean bedding. A physician at the Montebello center eventually informed Serna that her aunt had scabies. But Serna said her aunt never received any treatment for the condition, a fact she said was uncovered only after her aunt was transferred in March to another medical facility. last_img read more

Less fatalities more safety for Alaskas commercial fishing industry

first_imgCommercial fisherman Ryan Fry sets up crab pots outside the F/V Farrar Sea in Unalaska. (Photo by Annie Ropeik/KUCB)Commercial fishing in Alaska was once known as one of the deadliest professions. It’s still pretty dangerous, but the number of fatalities each year is trending downward.The U.S. Coast Guard announced in October that over a recent yearlong period, not one commercial fisherman had perished at sea while working.The Coast Guard says that’s the first time the industry has had a spotless record. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports that in the 1980s, an average of 31 fishermen died at sea each year. But starting in the 1990s, the number of commercial fishing deaths started declining, by 67 percent from 1991 to 1999.And between the first of October 2014 and Sept. 30 of 2015, there was not one casualty, according to Coast Guard data. That’s even including the six commercial fishing boats that sank last summer; all crew members were rescued.A Coast Guard fishing vessel safety expert, Scott Wilwert, says safer management practices have made all the difference.Once derby-style halibut and crab fisheries were done away with, the death toll diminished. Instead, crab rationalization and fishing quotas – or IFQs – meant the fishing wasn’t packed into short openings with hundreds jockeying to catch the most fish in overcrowded grounds.And, new policies were put in place, directing the Coast Guard to conduct inspections before fleets left port.“The crab fleet out in the Bering Sea has the reputation as the deadliest catch. And reality, real reality, is that hasn’t been since 1999,” Ted Teske of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) said. “Prior to 1999 there was an average of eight fatalities a year in the fishery. Then in the 1999, the U.S. Coast Guard started doing dockside stability checks before the boats left the dock. And just like flipping a switch, they went from an average of eight fatalities a year to less than one a year.Teske is a NIOSH health communications specialist.   He and Samantha Case, a NIOSH researcher based in Anchorage, visited Dutch Harbor in October to survey fishermen about current use of life jackets, or PFDs.“Anecdotally, it seems like more guys are wearing life jackets, at least in this fleet in Dutch Harbor,” Teske said. “Man overboard fatalities are the second leading cause of death among commercial fishermen nationwide. Of the over 500 fishermen that have died from falls overboard since 2000, not a single one of them was wearing a life jacket when they drown.”Teske and Case said it seems these days more fishermen are wearing PFDs.“If you look at what is actually the cause of death when you fall in cold water, a lot of people say, oh, you’re going to die from hypothermia. But really what gets you long before hypothermia is what they called swimming failure. Where basically the water is so cold that your body is trying to keep your organs and your brain warm and so it’s moving all the blood out of your extremities and you lose the ability to tread water,” Teske said. “So if you can float, if you can float you don’t have to worry about that at all. And it takes actually a long time for you to slip into a hypothermic condition. That can take a half-hour to an hour or more, which is plenty of time for the vessel to spin around and come grab you, if they know you are in the water and you are floating.”The decline in commercial fishery deaths can also be attributed to improvements in PFD design, making them less bulky and difficult to work in.Click here to see the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s recent article on the decrease in commercial fishermen fatalities.last_img read more