Sunday, December 20, 2009


Patient and Family Fall Prevention
by Providence Hospital - Mobile, AL

Recently, I spent several days in Providence Hospital. In the info package that is issued to all patients was a brochure titled "Patient and Family Fall Prevention."

After reading this publication I feel like this is an item that is appropriate for any hospital, anywhere for Patients, Staff Personnel and Family Members as it just makes Horse Sense.

Personnel at Providence Hospital has graciously agreed with me to post the information in this blog site as it is so applicable to so many people in so many different ways to prevent falls in hospitals.

Providence Hospital

Patient and Family Fall Protection

  • At Providence Hospital We are committed to Providing Education to Our Patients and Family Members to Ensure Safety for All. Thank you for choosing Providence Hospital.

The danger of falling is very real for hospitalized patients. There are several factors that increase this risk; *Current Illness * New and unfamiliar surroundings * Certain medications, such as sleeping aids, pain relievers, water pills, and laxatives * Previous fall history *Shortness of breath, stroke, muscle weakness, unsteady gait (walking), fever, urgent need to use the restroom * New confusion or disorientation from your current illness * Dementia, depression, or psychosis * Sensory impairments, such as numbness in feet; vision or hearing problems * Post treatment procedure/surgery *Medical devices in use.

*Staying with you if necessary *Informing the nurse of any changes they see in your behavior or thinking. *Informing the nurse if you have a history of falls. *Keeping the room free from clutter. *Leaving the bed in lowest position and notify the nurse upon leaving your room.

Tell your nurse if you feel you are at risk to fall due to: *Recent falls. *Periods of dizziness or blurred vision. * Weakness or loss of balance. *Require a walker, crutches, or cane when walking. *Have trouble feeling your feet on the ground. *You just "feel different."

Follow the following guidelines to help prevent falls:
*Refrain from walking without assistance when you must take equipment such as IV poles with you. *Follow the red, yellow, and green precaution signs (posted in your room). *Do not attempt to get up without the nurses assistance.

*Having a higher risk to fall may occur at different times throughout your hospital stay. Your nurse will be accessing your risk to fall each shift. *If a nurse determines that you are at risk to fall or if you or your family feel that you are at risk, we provide a special plan of care to address safety issues and reduce the danger of an accidental fall and injury.

The nurses and nursing assistants develop fall prevention practices based on your individual risk factors. Some of the most common fall prevention practices used at Providence Hospital include; *A fall logo may be placed on your door and on your medical chart to alert other health care workers of your risk to fall. Fall leaves are used in this logo. *A yellow armband may be used to ensure that other health care workers are aware of your risk to fall in case you leave your room. *We may ask you to wear our yellow non-skid slippers when you are out of the bed. *Hourly rounding may be done by staff. This means the staff will come to your room hourly to see if you need any help. If you are sleeping, the staff will be careful not to wake you. This frequent rounding allows us to help you meet your needs. *You will be instructed to use the call light for help getting into and out of your bed or chair to use the urinal or bedpan, walk to the bathroom, or retrieve something out of your reach. *A bed alarm may be used to alert the nurses that you need to get out of bed. *Signs will be used to inform you of how much assistance you need to get out of bed.

Fall Prevention Instructions For Our Patients
*Don't walk with equipment
*Call for nurse assistance when getting up from the bed, chair or bathroom.
*Follow precaution signs:
RED - Don't get up without assistance. YELLOW - Don't get up without a nurse or family member assisting you. GREEN - You may get up without assistance.

While our program is very beneficial in preventing falls, its success depends entirely upon staff, patients, and visitors participating completely in the program.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Gas Line Explosion

High Fines For Explosion

The post below from The Houston Business Journal and shows that some Federal Agencies take incidents that cause fatalities and/or catastrophies are fined with enough impact to let huge corporations do what they wish with disregard to safety procedures spelled out by these Programs.

Most of my posts are referred to OSHA incidents, but other Agencies have rules and seem to be not ashamed to place heavy fines for such incidents.

In reference to OSHA, I have noted in past posts that I feel that their fines are inadequate to cover make a difference to Large Corporations that just pay a small fine and continue to operate unsafely.

It seems that The Department of Transportation has no qualms about issuing penalties that get the attention FINANCIALLY of these large corporations.

The fatality in this incident was only one person. However, this could have easily caused multiple fatalities and huge monetary costs. This person, apparently, had not been advised of the location of the pipe line and while grading for a right of way struck the existing line with his dozer.

El Paso Corp. hit with $2.3M safety penalty

Houston Business Journal

The U.S. Department of Transportation has levied what it calls a record penalty of $2.3 million against gas-pipeline company El Paso Corp. and its subsidiary, Colorado Interstate Gas Co., in connection with a fatal 2006 pipeline explosion in Wyoming.

The civil penalty, for alleged violations of federal pipeline safety regulations, is the largest DOT has ever levied against a pipeline company under its oversight, the agency said.

The penalty is in connection with an explosion in Laramie County, Wyo., in which the Rockies Express Pipeline, a gas pipeline owned by Wyoming Interstate Co. Ltd. and operated by Colorado Interstate Gas Co., both subsidiaries of Houston-based El Paso Corp. (NYSE: EP), was struck by a bulldozer, resulting in the release of natural gas, a subsequent explosion and fire, and the death of the bulldozer’s driver.

The operator was Bobby Ray Owens Jr., 52, of Louisiana, according to news reports. He worked for a construction company, not El Paso.

“At the time of the accident, the bulldozer operator was attempting to grade nearby land to build a right of way for the Rockies Express Pipeline,” DOT said in a statement.

DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which investigated the incident, “discovered the companies did not comply with federal regulations covering the locating and marking of buried pipeline facilities,” the agency said.

“Federal requirements are in place to provide protections for America’s most important assets, its citizens,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in the statement. “The department will hold pipeline operators accountable for the safety of those who live and work in the vicinity of their systems and negligence will not be tolerated.”

El Paso Corp. and Colorado Springs-based Colorado Interstate Gas also were ordered to take various actions “to ensure compliance with federal pipeline safety regulations.” They include revising corporate procedures for making construction records, maps, and operating history available to operating personnel, and having supervisors to conduct unannounced reviews of work performed by El Paso line locators to ensure applicable procedures are being followed.

In a statement to The Associated Press, an El Paso Corp. spokesman said that the company has improved its procedures, but he also said federal officials should have taken into account what he called errors by the construction company working at the site as well as the complexity of the situation.