Showing posts with label CDC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CDC. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Department of Veterans Affairs under OSHA investigation "failed to keep workers free from known hazards"

Department of Labor to investigate VA over staff exposure to coronavirus

Connecting Vets
Abbie Bennett
April 17, 2020
The union accused VA of further violating OSHA standards by failing to provide workers with N95 respirators "and other necessary personal protective equipment (PPE)" as well as "failing to isolate suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients and refusing to provide COVID-19 testing to employees who have been exposed to those known or suspected of having the virus."
After a union representing millions of Department of Veterans Affairs employees accused the VA of "endangering" veterans and medical staff during the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Labor said it will investigate.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sent a letter to the American Federation of Government Employees' National Veterans Affairs Council President Alma Lee saying that after the union filed a complaint on behalf of 260,000 VA employees, an investigation is planned.

OSHA "will be initiating an investigation concerning worker exposure to patients with COVID-19," the letter read.

The letter was written by Loren Sweatt, principal deputy assistant secretary for OSHA, who added that "I am contacting the VA's designated safety and health official" about the allegations.

The union's complaint alleged VA "failed to keep workers free from known hazards" and said the agency directed staff who had come in contact with or been in close proximity to people with virus symptoms, to report to work "without regard to the 14-day self-quarantine guidelines" issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
read it here

Monday, September 10, 2018

Over half of the suicides worldwide are in America?

Well this is shocking!
Every year, almost 80,000 people across the world take their own lives. In the UK alone, more than 6,000 people commit suicide each year - an average of 18 per day. Today marks World Suicide Prevention Day, an annual event designed to raise awareness of suicide and reach out to those who are struggling to cope.
No, not because the number of known suicides is so high. 

It is shocking because according to the CDC, the US is more than half of them!
Suicide rates have been rising in nearly every state, according to the latest Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and is one of just three leading causes that are on the rise.
And now that you know that, still willing to settle for "suicide awareness" instead of letting them know how they can heal and find hope again?

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Facts vs slogan should matter, VA and CDC got it wrong

Ignoring the truth will make veterans go way!
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 23, 2018

If veterans really matter, pay attention because their lives depend on facts, not slogans!


What the public does not know scares the crap out of me!

Yet again I tried to explain to someone why using "22" to "raise awareness" was not only wrong, it was harmful. Yet again, I tried to explain that there are things we do not know about the actual loss of life by choice among our veterans. Yet again, what I had to say was dismissed because "everyone is talking about the "22" a day. 

After I gave him the facts, he said they were going to stick with what the CDC said. The trouble is not from what they said or the VA said. It is within what they did not say!

I talked to my boss about this today and told her I give up! What is the point of trying to get people to wake up when they keep hitting the snooze alarm? Is it just so they can just go back to their fuzzy dreams of actually accomplishing something because it made them feel better about themselves? 

Well, I am tired of the excuses. Tired of hearing reporters pretending to listen and then do yet another report with another group out there popping up to "raise awareness" of something they did not even bother to understand.

So dear readers, I wanted to consider this the swan song on the subject. I cannot compete with what everyone else is talking about even though all they have is a useless slogan and we have the facts. (Yes, you are right, I had to replace the word I was going to use instead of useless.) I am so furious right now, I know that giving up is not really an option.

This is from the CDC on what they do and do not know about the number of suicides in this country.

"40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico" but not the other 10 states, including Texas and Florida, which represent the largest veterans populations behind California. 
The Demographics of California’s Veterans California’s Veterans Share Many Demographic Characteristics With Veterans Nationwide. Of the estimated 21 million veterans in the United States, about 1.8 million veterans live in California. 2017

"We still do not have a complete picture of violent deaths across the nation." If they do not have the data on civilians committing suicide, they do not have the data on veterans!

We do know the largest groups of veterans are in fact older than what the public has been led to believe. 
The suicide rate among middle-age and older adult vets remain high, with about 65 percent of all veterans who committed suicide in 2014 age 50 or older. About 31 percent of the suicides were committed by Vietnam War-era veterans.

But why mention that when all people hear is that it is the younger veterans needing the help while ignoring the majority of veterans waiting longer? Oh, BTW, you also need to consider that every report from the VA on suicides has put these veterans at the top of the list for known suicides! Yep!

We know that not all veterans go to the VA, and therefore, not all of them are in their data base.
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated health care system in the United States, providing care at 1,240 health care facilities, including 170 VA Medical Centers and 1,061 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics) to over 9 million Veterans enrolled in the VA ...Mar 19, 2018

And we do know that not all of the "over 9 million veterans" were for their health and disability as of 2016. According to the VA there were only 6 million treated for healthcare from the VA. Hey, but why mention that in any of the reports that come out so members of Congress can sell out their care to private-for-profit businesses?

 Yes, you read that right and noticed that only 4.6 million were being paid pensions or compensation.

If we cannot face the truth, then we will keep looking at the graves that we allowed to be filled!

More of what we do know!
Not honorable discharges
VVA officials estimate as many as 300,000 veterans nationwide may have been improperly dismissed from the service, leaving them more vulnerable to depression and suicide because of a lack of veterans health services.
If a veteran did not receive an honorable discharge, they may not have been counted as "veteran" but it depends on a lot of things. This is from the VA and shows that is not "cut and dry" on anything.

We know that even though there are thousands of calls into the VA crisis line every year, and all other "efforts" to raise awareness, the numbers have not gone down accordingly.

We also know that given the fact the Department of Defense is under a mandate to report military suicides on a quarterly basis, with more up to date data, the numbers have remained consistently averaging 500 per year.

UPDATE 8/24/18
Now that you know all that, this is from the VA on the latest research.
"The analysis is part of VA’s ongoing examination of more than 55 million civilian and Veteran death records that is being used to evaluate and improve VA’s Suicide Prevention Program. Data from this report were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Death Index and then linked to both VA and Department of Defense (DoD) data."
For veterans living outside the US.
"This report builds upon prior analysis of Veteran suicide and provides additional and updated information on all known suicides among Veterans living in the United States from 2005 to 2015. In addition to expanding to include 2015 data, it includes updated 2014 data."
And as you saw from the CDC report, not all suicides in all states are fully accounted for. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Understanding conversation on suicides

Key to preventing suicide is an understanding conversation, experts say
Alexa Reye
Jun 8, 2018
Forty-nine states have seen an increase in the number of suicides from 1999 through 2016, according to a government report. Nebraska seeing an over 16 percent increase.

Editor's note: If you're feeling suicidal or having suicidal thoughts, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

OMAHA, Nebraska — The numbers are staggering: A new study from the Centers for Disease Control, shows the number of people taking their own life, is up 16 percent in Nebraska, 36 percent in Iowa and even higher in other states.

The data come during a week where two high-profile suicides are making headlines. But experts say you can help turn the tide — if you know what to look for.

Experts say the key to preventing suicide all starts with a conversation. One that expresses support and can happen anytime, anywhere. Because listening is the key to prevention.
read more here
Some will admit they are thinking about it but is the listener prepared for the answer? 

With all the awareness on suicide, isn't it about time all of us became aware that it has not help?

That conversation itself needs to change. Some will never say they are thinking of anything at all. When I wanted to die, no one knew. If anyone asked, I would have denied it. When my husband's nephew decided to die, no one knew how bad it was for him. He would have gotten angry and did it anyway. I needed something worth living for and so does everyone else.

With veterans, we have so many things in place to help them save their own lives, but they have not heard about them simply because social media, being what it is, shares the easy stuff and not what they need to know.

Friday, June 8, 2018

What CDC does not know about veteran suicides

Veterans overrepresented in report, underrepresented in reporting
Combat PTSD
Kathie Costos
June 8, 2018

CNN had the report from the CDC on suicides in America and within the report, there was this,
Veterans are also "overrepresented" in the report, she said.

"Veterans made up about 18% of adult suicides but represent about 8.5% of the US adult population," Schuchat said, noting that not all veterans who died by suicide were recent veterans. Still, the researchers found a 10% higher risk of suicide among people who had served in the military.

Middle-age adults had the highest increase.

"This is a very important population right now in terms of national statistics," Schuchat said, noting the high rates of drug overdose in this group as well as "deaths of despair" described in social science literature. 
What they do not know is, large groups of veterans were not considered "veteran" on their Death Certificates. 

California did not have it on Death Certificates until they passed legislation last year. Illinois was not tracking them.

If they did not have an "honorable" discharge, they would have been counted as a suicide, but not as a veteran.

If they live outside of the US, they do not appear to have even been considered as worthy of mentioning.

Last but not least is the simple fact that the "22" everyone keeps talking about was from limited data from just 21 states! But they got away with reducing the lives of veterans down to an easy number to remember.

Gee, and they make it seem like they really care. If they did not even care enough to read the reports, how much could they have cared about the veterans they love to talk about? After all, the largest group are over the age of 50 but they ignored them too! (Yes, that was in the report too.) Oh, almost forgot that military suicides are forgotten about too and they are a reported average of 500 a year.