Thursday, July 19, 2012

12 Yr Old Boy Dies 4 Days after a Staph Infection Caused By a Scrape in Gym Class

Memorial Website with Info on Staph Infections

My hometown lost a beloved retired teacher who cut himself at home and his cut got infected resulting in his death, similar to the tragedy of Rory Staunton. He was a 12 year old boy, scraped his arm diving for a basketball in gym class, nobody thought much about it. His parents took him to his doctor who diagnosed his problem as a stomach virus that was going around. The doctor told the parents to take him to a nearby hospital to get re-hydrated which they did. They also ran tests on him, but the results came in after he was released. the tests showed his white blood cell count was unusually high. No one from the hospital contacted them. But two days later, the 12-year-old was fighting for his life in a New York City hospital as bacteria from the injury raced through his bloodstream. He died in the intensive care unit. The bacteria and his body’s reaction to it, a condition known as septic shock, killed him. 

Parents Try To Recognize The Signs and Ask The Right Questions:

Because it can be so difficult to diagnose sepsis (toxic shock syndrome) early, parents, the ones who know their kids the best, need to know what to watch out for, Doctor Gaieski said. “If your kid has a scrape it shouldn’t cause a high fever or pain that is out of proportion with the injury — or in a different spot from where the scrape is,” he added. “You should also be concerned if your kid has an unexplained rash, trouble breathing, or a fast respiratory rate or lethargy without typical cold symptoms such as a runny nose, a sore throat or a cough.”

Strongly recommend that parents assume nothing and aggressively pursue the doctor and the hospital to close the loop with them concerning test results. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lightning: A Deadly Hazard to Outdoor Events

Lightening is the MOST UNDERRATED Weather Threat. As of 2001, it  has killed more people that hurricanes & tornadoes combined....


Lightening Strike During a Men's Soccer Match: Recently in northern part of Houston, Texas during a soccer game two adult men were killed and a third injured after lightning struck a tree under which they had been seeking shelter from the rain during a soccer match according to law enforcement. A men's league soccer club game was being played when it began to rain around 12:10 pm. A group of players took shelter under a tree. Lighting struck the tree, killing one man at the scene according to Deputy Sheriff Thomas Gilliland. Two other men were transported by ambulance to a hospital. One was pronounced dead on arrival and the other was in stable condition, according to police. There were more people who took refuge under the trees during the storm (which is a dangerous mistake), but fortunately weren't injured.  According to the National Weather Service (NWS), nine people have been killed in eight states so far this year due to lightning. 

Here is a great resource for Principals, Athletic Directors, Coaches, Teachers, Athletes, and Parents to review:

Safer Design for Safer Play with the threat of Lightning  (Check this website out)

Points for Consideration:

  • As parents, teachers, coaches, and spectators; what are the safety guidelines when it comes to thunder and lightning? (Check out the above website)
  • How often do educational or athletic leaders take a look at inclement weather, and determine a bad weather decision point to cancel or reschedule an event?
  • Lightning during an outdoor school event (graduation, sports game, gym class or even a school trip) can lead to a calamity, it the right decisions are not made in a timely fashion. Hundreds of people sitting outside in metal bleachers...
  • If an event is ongoing and bad weather (thunder & lightening in the distance) occurs, there is a tendency to try and "gut it out" in the hopes it will "blow over" so we can finish the event. 
    • What is more of a distraction? Stopping an event and transitioning it indoors, if possible OR gambling with the safety of everyone and risking their lives? 
      • Mass Casualty, Loss of Life, Investigations, Law Suits, Memorial Services.... 
  • While weather is often predictable, it is not always accurate, but the consequences of disregarding lightning can be fatal. 
  • A lightening strike during a large event can cause a mass casualty event with numerous people having to be resuscitated often at the same time. Do you have a mass casualty plan other than calling 911?
Our goal is educating ourselves to prevent a hazardous incident from occurring. A key element to that is preparation by learning as much as possible about the threat of lightning in the first place, check out the above website.  

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Failure in Ethical Leadership & Civic Responsibility at an Academic Institution

Former FBI Dir Freeh Report on Penn State Scandal

An excerpt finding from the report:

Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State. The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized. Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky’s victims until after Sandusky’s arrest.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

4 Kids Killed by Electricity in 3 Separate Recreation Incidents

Four children were electrocuted in three separate incidents involving routine summer activities. Electricity and water are a deadly combination and kids, parents, guardians, and recreation facility personnel need to pay more attention to this man-made hazard to avoid any more deaths or injuries.  

  • June 28, 2012: An 11 yr old girl, Ashton Jojo, who was vacationing with her family was electrocuted and died at a miniature golf course at at Orange Lake Resort in Kissimmee, Florida. She was electrocuted as she tried to retrieve her ball she hit into a small 2 ft deep pond on the course around 2 pm. She and her family were on vacation from New York.  A man was injured trying to pull her out of the water. The course is closed and an investigation is pending. 
  • July 4, 2012: A 13 yr old girl (Alexandra Anderson) and her 8 yr old brother (Brandon Anderson) were electrocuted and died while swimming near a private dock in the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. They could not be revived and were pronounced dead at the hospital. An investigation is pending and they are looking at electricity powered lights and a pump that supplies water to a children's slide used at the dock. 

  • July 4, 2012: One boy (unnamed) was electrocuted and died while swimming between two house boats by a dock near the German Creek Marina on Cherokee Lake in the town of Bean Station, Tennessee. Another boy swimming with him was shocked at the same time but was revived on a medical helicopter flight. Bystanders who tried to rescued them were shocked as well. The marina was evacuated as a precaution afterwards and an investigation is pending as they try to determine the source of the electrical current. The wiring at the bottom of one of the houseboats may be the source, but it is undetermined at present. 
Points for Consideration:
  • All three of these instances are tragedies which will affect the families and communities for a long time.  
  • All of these tragedies could have been avoided with proper installation of electrical devices and safety inspections of recreation facilities and recreation craft.
  • There will be lessons learned but often it takes a tragedy to bring attention to safety issues. 
  • If your children are near water or entering a water environment where there is electricity, these tragedies teach us to  "assume nothing". Often people are embarrassed to ask safety related questions, but that type of engagement helps keep others honest, and may save a life.
  • Electrocution injuries involve a burn as well as a shock. There are special First Aid considerations not discussed in this blog post. Always activate 911 immediately.
  • Rescuing someone who is receiving an ongoing electric shock requires special consideration. First,  try to shut off the source of power. If you are unable to shut off the source of power than try to use a wooden stick (broom handle) or dry material to break the victim away from the source of electricity. If those attempting to rescue and render aid become victims than it makes a bad situation even worse. 

When in doubt, always check the safety (risk management) of whatever activity your children and loved ones participate. As preposterous as checking for the threat of electrocution is during a lake swim or miniature golf, it could have prevented these deaths. Unfortunately, you make your luck when it comes to safety and security of our children.