How Common Is Nursing Home Abuse?

When you move an aging loved one into a long-term care facility, it’s with the assumption that he or she will be treated with dignity and respect. Sadly, abuse and neglect are alarmingly common in nursing homes, and the problem is only getting worse.

In one survey conducted by the World Health Organization, 2 out of 3 nursing home staff members reported having committed abuse within the past year. Even those who live at high-priced, state-of-the-art facilities are vulnerable to physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse. Residents might also be subjected to neglect, which can be just as damaging as outright abuse.

If you’re thinking about moving an elderly loved one into a nursing home, you may be wondering if he or she is likely to be abused. Since a significant number of incidents go unreported, it’s impossible to determine exactly how prevalent the problem is; however, abuse in long-term care facilities is certainly more common than it should be.

In one survey, 95 percent of the residents who were interviewed reported that they had been neglected by staff or had witnessed others being neglected. In another study, researchers found outright abuse had occurred in 30 percent of all nursing homes throughout the United States.  

What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?

If your loved one currently resides in a long-term care facility—or will soon—it’s wise to review the warning signs of nursing home abuse so you’ll be able to notice the symptoms of mistreatment and take immediate action. Here are some of the most common signs of abuse:

  • Physical Abuse: Unexplained hospitalizations are a telltale sign of physical abuse, as are unexplained injuries. Examples include bruises, lacerations, fractures, sprains, and strains.
  • Sexual Abuse: Bruises on the wrists, thighs, and chest are indicative of sexual abuse. Torn clothing, difficulty walking or sitting, and unexplained infections could also be signs of sexual abuse.
  • Emotional Abuse: When seniors suffer emotional abuse, they are likely to exhibit changes in their personality. For example, they may experience dramatic mood swings, withdraw from social situations, or isolate themselves from friends and family members.
  • Financial Abuse: If your loved one is suddenly unable to meet financial obligations, nursing home staff could be taking advantage of him or her. Giving extravagant gifts to those who are not actually family members or modifying estate plans for no justifiable reason are also signs that a caregiver could be manipulating your relative.
  • Neglect: Nursing home residents who are neglected by staff are likely to suffer from malnutrition, dehydration, and bedsores. They may also have poor personal hygiene.

Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

If you think an elderly loved one is being abused or neglected by nursing home staff, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. We will conduct a thorough investigation and gather the evidence needed to build a claim against all liable parties. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in New York.

Can You Sue a Nursing Home for Bedsores?  Nursing homes are supposed to be a safe environment for our aging loved ones. The very reason why most people move into nursing homes is because their families are unable to provide the care they need. Unfortunately, abuse and neglect happen far more often than they should in long-term care facilities, and they can have devastating consequences.

Bedsores are common in nursing homes and typically affect people who have limited mobility. These skin lesions develop as a result of prolonged pressure on the skin, which is why they’re often referred to as “pressure ulcers.” They’re especially common near bony protrusions like the shoulder blades, ankles, heels, and hips.

Not long ago, bedsores were considered a normal part of patient care. But today, hospitals and nursing homes are expected to take reasonable steps to prevent these lesions from forming. Such measures include moving patients regularly to prevent prolonged pressure on the skin and ensuring residents who are confined to wheelchairs have sufficient padding to prevent irritation.

Because bedsores can result from negligence, victims may have grounds for a claim against the facility where they reside. If you lost a member of your family due to bedsore-related complications such as infection, you might have grounds for a wrongful death claim and a survival action.

For your claim to be successful, you’ll need strong evidence of liability and damages.

Evidence of Liability

If a nursing home resident has a condition that limits his or her mobility and this is known to the nursing home staff yet they fail to take reasonable steps to prevent bedsores—and bedsores develop as a result—the facility may be liable for any damages incurred. Evidence of liability might include:

  • Records that demonstrate understaffing at the nursing home;
  • Statements from residents who live in the same facility;
  • Records of other residents developing bedsores; and
  • Security footage and/or keycard data tracking staff members’ moves.

Damages in Nursing Home Neglect Claims

When pressure ulcers go unaddressed, they can progress rapidly and lead to serious complications including cellulitis, cancer, and sepsis. If a resident develops bedsores as a result of nursing home negligence, he or she can bring a claim against the facility for all damages incurred, which may include:

  • Surgeries, medication, and other past and future healthcare expenses;
  • Other objectively verifiable costs related to the injury; and
  • Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and physical impairment.

Evidence of damages in a nursing home neglect case may include:

  • Medical records;
  • Statements from specialists;
  • Personal injury journal entries; and
  • Photographs of the bedsores in question.

Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in New York

If you want to sue a New York nursing home for providing substandard care, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. We can perform a thorough investigation, interview nursing home residents and staff, and help you pursue the highest settlement possible. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a nursing home abuse attorney in New York.

5 Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Moving an aging loved one into a nursing home isn’t easy, but many families find comfort in the fact that the staff at the facility will provide the kind of care they never could. At the end of the day, though, quality care is not guaranteed.

While it’s impossible to know just how many residents are affected because so many cases go unreported, abuse is rampant in nursing homes around the country. If you’re worried about an elderly loved one who lives in a long-term care facility, visiting often is one of the most effective ways to keep him or her safe—especially if you know how to identify abuse or neglect.

Here are just a few of the most common warning signs of nursing home abuse:

1. Malnutrition or Dehydration

When nursing home residents don’t receive balanced meals—or the help they require to consume such meals—malnutrition and dehydration could result. Potential signs of poor nutrition include:

  • Weight loss;
  • Lack of interest in food or drink;
  • Lethargy and weakness;
  • Poor concentration;
  • Low body temperature; and
  • Depression.

2. Bedsores

Bedsores are one of the most common signs of neglect. Also known as pressure ulcers, these wounds develop as the result of prolonged pressure on the same area of the body. They’re especially common on the skin covering bony protrusions like the heels, ankles, hips, and tailbone.

3. Unanticipated Hospitalization

If your loved one has a serious illness that’s causing his or her health to deteriorate rapidly, frequent hospitalizations may not be all the surprising. When residents who are fairly stable are rushed to the hospital, though, abuse or neglect may be to blame. If there’s no explanation for your relative’s most recent hospitalization—or the explanation you receive doesn’t make sense—it’s worth investigating.

4. Unexplained Injuries

Sprains, strains, bruises, welts, lacerations, and fractures that have no apparent cause may signify physical abuse. Likewise, injuries that can be explained but don’t heal properly—or at all—are indicative of neglect.

5. Dramatic Change in Mood or Personality

When someone is abused or neglected, his or her demeanor is likely to change. In other words, if you notice a dramatic shift in your loved one’s mood, there’s cause for concern.

Those who are struggling to process physical, sexual, or emotional abuse are also inclined to isolate themselves from others. That means your relative may retreat from social events that he or she used to love or tell you not to visit altogether. If either occurs, it could be a sign that something traumatic has happened.

Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in New York

If your loved one received substandard care from nursing home staff, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. We have won several multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts for personal injury clients. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in New York.

Steps to Take After a Hit-and-Run AccidentNew York follows a no-fault system regarding car accident claims, so drivers can usually recover compensation for medical expenses and lost income from their own insurance provider. But if your injuries qualify as “serious,” you may be able to file a third-party claim with the liable driver’s insurer.

But what if the at-fault motorist fled the scene?

If a hit-and-run driver cannot be found, this could limit the victim’s options for pursuing compensation. Fortunately, there are steps you can take immediately following a hit-and-run collision to increase your chances of both finding the at-fault motorist and building a strong case against him or her. Those steps include:

1. Pull Over and Call the Police

Do not chase after the other motorist; doing so could result in a subsequent collision and end with you facing criminal charges. Instead, pull out of the flow of traffic and call the police. Getting law enforcement involved right away will improve your chances of finding the liable driver. It will also ensure you have a valid police report, which most insurers require in order to process a claim.

2. Write Down Everything You Remember

While waiting for officers to arrive, write down everything you remember about the other vehicle including its make, model, color, license plate number, and any identifying features. If there are any eyewitnesses nearby, ask what they remember about the other vehicle, and add their comments to your notes. Then, get their names and contact details so your personal injury attorney can obtain more comprehensive statements at a later date.

3. Document the Scene

Photograph your vehicle from all angles, making sure to document every indent in detail. Believe it or not, police have been able to identify hit-and-run motorists based only on license plate imprints left on bumpers. You should also take pictures of the area where the accident occurred including both small details like skid marks and larger details like the road conditions and the flow of traffic.

4. Seek Medical Care

It’s wise to visit a doctor as soon as possible following a hit-and-run accident, even if you feel relatively fine. Shock and adrenaline can mask the symptoms of serious injuries, but delaying treatment could cause your condition to worsen.

Seeking medical care right away will also show the insurance company that you’re committed to mitigating your damages. This will contribute to the strength of your claim.

5. Call a Car Accident Lawyer

Police may not prioritize your hit-and-run case, but a personal injury lawyer will. Seasoned attorneys have various strategies for identifying hit-and-run drivers. Even if the liable party is never located, your lawyer can help you pursue other avenues of compensation.

Discuss Your Claim with a Car Accident Attorney in New York

If you were hurt in a hit-and-run collision, turn to LoTempio P.C. Law Group to determine the best way to proceed. We have been representing injured parties throughout the Empire State for more than 40 years. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free and confidential consultation with a car accident lawyer in New York.

5 Apps to Reduce Your Risk of Car AccidentsFrom redeeming coupons to checking social media statuses, there’s an app for just about everything. Although smartphones are often associated with distracted driving—and for good reason—there are actually apps out there that can reduce your risk of being involved in a car accident.

Here are some of the more popular options:

1. Drive Safe

Drive Safe is a free app that helps prevent distracted driving. When enabled, this app will silence your phone and send autoreplies to incoming texts and calls. Thanks to the app’s simple interface, it’s ideal even for users who aren’t tech-savvy.

2. Canary

If you have teen drivers—or will soon—consider spending $14.99 on a lifetime subscription to Canary. This nifty app allows parents to monitor their teen’s smartphone use while behind the wheel. For example, it will send you a notification if your teen unlocks his or her phone when driving.

3. Cellcontrol

Cellcontrol is another app for parents designed to provide peace of mind. After installing a small device under the dashboard, this app will block various smartphone features while the vehicle is in motion. It currently inhibits texting, emailing, and taking photos.

4. TextArrest

Considering how dangerous texting and driving is, it’s no surprise that so many apps aim to prevent it. TextArrest, for example, will disable your smartphone so you cannot text or email while behind the wheel. When this Android app senses your vehicle traveling faster than 5 mph, it automatically locks the screen.

5. Steer Clear Mobile

While Steer Clear Mobile isn’t an app that you would use while on the road, it can still reduce your risk of car accidents. This iOS app aims to instill safe driving habits in motorists who are 25 and younger by tracking their completion of learning modules related to distracted driving and technical driving scenarios. The best part? If you use it regularly, you may be entitled to discounts on auto insurance.

Could an App Help Me Build a Strong Personal Injury Claim?

If you end up in a car accident despite your best efforts to avoid one, some of the apps mentioned above might contribute to the strength of your claim. For example, Steer Clear Mobile logs road conditions and driving time, and Canary monitors speed and location. Depending on the circumstances, having such records could help your attorney prove liability.

Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a Car Accident Attorney in New York

Unfortunately, even if you follow all the rules of the road and use a safe driving app, it’s still possible to end up in a collision with a drunk, distracted, or otherwise reckless motorist. If you were hurt in a crash through no fault of your own, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group.

We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll a serious accident can have on your life. Our attorneys and outstanding support staff will use all the resources at their disposal to help you pursue the settlement you deserve. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer in New York.

Texting and Driving Laws in New York: What You Need to KnowDrivers have countless distractions vying for their attention every time they hit the road. If you have a cell phone, the temptation to talk, text, or check the latest notification can seem all but impossible to resist. Unlike other kinds of distractions, though, texting occupies your manual, visual, and cognitive faculties at the same time—which makes it especially risky.

Because texting and driving is so dangerous, it’s prohibited in 47 states. The specific laws vary from one state to the next, so it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the statutes that apply in your location.

If you reside in New York, here’s what you need to know about texting and driving:

1. It’s Not Just Texting That’s Prohibited

The state of New York prohibits all motorists from using any kind of handheld electronic device while their vehicle is in motion. Because this is a primary law, drivers can be stopped and ticketed solely for using their phones while behind the wheel.

2. The Fines Can Be Hefty

If you’re convicted of texting and driving, the resulting fine can range from $50 to $450. If it’s your first offense, the fine will be between $50 and $200. If it’s your second offense within 18 months, the maximum fine will be $250. For a third offense within that same period, you will face a fine of up to $450.

3. Repeat Offenders Face a License Suspension

In New York, a single conviction for improper cell phone use will result in five driver violation points. Motorists who accumulate at least 11 points in an 18-month period face a license suspension. Since all the major insurance providers have their own point systems, those who are convicted of texting and driving may also face higher premiums.

How Can I Prove Someone Was Texting While Driving?

Your attorney may use the following evidence to prove the at-fault driver was texting behind the wheel:

  • Cell Phone Records: Cell phone records will provide a detailed account of the motorist’s phone use in the moments leading up to the wreck.
  • Eyewitness Testimony: If any nearby motorists, passengers, cyclists, or pedestrians saw the liable driver using a cell phone prior to the accident, their testimony could strengthen your claim.
  • Video Footage: If any surveillance cameras in the area captured the collision, they may have also captured the at-fault driver using his or her phone prior to the incident.

Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Car Accident Attorney

If you were hurt in a collision with someone who was texting and driving, you may be entitled to compensation for all resulting damages. To discuss your case with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer and determine the best way to proceed, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group.

Our seasoned attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience practicing law, and we are available 24/7 for your convenience. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer in New York.

How Soon Should I Call an Attorney After a Car Accident?There’s always a lot to do in the aftermath of a serious collision. Besides getting treatment for your injuries, you might also have to arrange alternative transportation, domestic help, and child care. If your injuries have left you sidelined from work, you may have to find a new way to pay your bills virtually overnight.

With so much on your plate, it’s easy for your personal injury claim to become an afterthought, but putting off your consultation with an attorney could prove to be a costly mistake. Read on to learn a few reasons why you should speak with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible:

1. Critical Evidence May Not Be Available Indefinitely

New York follows a no-fault system when it comes to car accident claims, but there are scenarios in which victims can pursue compensation from the parties who caused their injuries. For example, you can bypass the no-fault system if you sustained what the state considers to be a “serious injury.”

If you intend to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you’ll have to prove he or she was liable for the accident. And whether you file a first- or third-party claim, you’ll have to prove the types of damages you incurred and their value.

Some of the most important evidence to strengthen your claim may be time-sensitive. For example, if the wreck was captured on surveillance cameras, the owner of that footage might erase it shortly after the crash. Eyewitnesses might change their contact details, and vehicle damage may get repaired before it can be documented. It’s essential that your attorney is able to investigate your case while this evidence is still available and unaltered.

2. The Insurance Company’s First Offer May Be Unfair

Your lawyer will handle all correspondence with the opposing party from day one. Until you have representation, though, the insurance company will contact you directly, and they may offer an early settlement before you know the full extent of your injuries.

If you accept this offer but your medical bills and lost income turn out to be more costly than expected, you might have to cover the difference out of pocket. By hiring an attorney right away, you won’t be coerced into accepting a low payout.

3. There Are Countless Ways to Jeopardize Your Case Inadvertently

At the end of the day, it’s fairly easy to make a mistake early in the claims process that will hurt your chances of recovering a fair settlement. Your personal injury lawyer can help you avoid critical errors such as discussing your case on social media, providing a recorded statement, and failing to mitigate your damages.

Call 716-855-3761 for a Free Consultation with a New York Car Accident Attorney

If you were hurt in a motor-vehicle collision through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for the resulting damages. To determine if you have grounds for a claim, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group.

Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer in New York.

What Are the 5 Levels of Spinal Cord Injuries?Every spinal cord injury is unique, but the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) has established just five categories to encompass them all. Each category corresponds to a different level of injury severity.

The five categories of SCI are:

1. ASIA A

Spinal cord injuries that fall into the A category are the most severe. Also known as “complete SCIs,” these injuries leave victims with no motor or sensory function below the level of injury.

2. ASIA B

The ASIA B category includes all sensory incomplete spinal cord injuries. People with these injuries have partial sensory function below the injury site and may be able to feel light touches or pin pricks; however, no motor function exists more than three levels below the neurological level of damage on either side of the body.

3. ASIA C

Also known as motor incomplete, ASIA C injuries are those in which partial motor function is preserved below the site of trauma. These SCIs are still fairly severe because more than half of the critical muscles below the level of injury are unable to move against gravity. That means people with ASIA C injuries are not paralyzed—their joints retain their full range of motion in the absence of gravity—but they have serious physical disabilities.

4. ASIA D

The ASIA D classification also encompasses SCIs that are motor incomplete; however, these injuries are less severe than ASIA C SCIs because at least half of the critical muscles below the level of injury are graded 3 or higher. On the muscle grade scale, a 3 means the joints retain their full range of motion, even in the presence of gravity.

5. ASIA E

The least severe spinal cord injuries are categorized as ASIA E. These injuries do not cause any permanent damage to motor or sensory function below the site of trauma.

Can I File a Personal Injury Claim If I Sustained a Spinal Cord Injury?

The answer to this question depends on the specific cause of your injury. If you were hurt due to another person’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. The at-fault party may be liable for your medical bills (past and future), lost income, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, and any other reasonable and necessary expenses related to your SCI.

Discuss Your Case with a New York Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

If you or a member of your family sustained a spinal cord injury through the fault of another person, you may be entitled to compensation for the resulting damages. To find out if you have grounds for a claim, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group.

Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience practicing law. We have helped thousands of clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a spinal cord injury lawyer in New York.

Most Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries in the U.S.Spinal cord injuries are almost always devastating not only for the victim but also for his or her family. One of the most tragic aspects of suffering an SCI is that it takes only a moment to happen, but the effects can last a lifetime.

SCIs are caused by a blow to the back that dislocates, crushes, fractures, or compresses at least one vertebra. They can also result from a deep puncture wound or trauma to spinal disks or ligaments.

Although there are countless ways to damage the spinal cord, some scenarios are far more likely to occur than others. The most common causes of SCIs in the United States are:

1. Motor-Vehicle Collisions

Since 2010, motor-vehicle collisions have been the leading cause of SCIs around the country. This includes car, truck, and motorcycle accidents.

2. Falls

Falls are the second leading cause of SCIs among all age groups and the leading cause among people over the age of 65. Unfortunately, even a seemingly minor slip and fall can result in lasting damage, especially for vulnerable individuals who already have limited mobility.

3. Violent Altercations

Violent altercations are responsible for approximately 13 percent of all new SCI cases. Both gunshot wounds and knife wounds can damage the spinal cord, causing permanent paralysis.

4. Sports Accidents

Sports accidents cause roughly 1 out of 10 spinal cord injuries annually. The most dangerous activities include contact sports like football and hockey and extreme sports like waterskiing, cliff jumping, snowboarding, and hang gliding. Diving is also inherently dangerous and contributes to a significant number of SCIs every year.

Are Some People More Likely to Sustain a Spinal Cord Injury Than Others?

Although virtually anyone can end up in one of the scenarios mentioned above, there are certain risk factors that make some people more likely to sustain an SCI than others. Such risk factors include:

  • Being male;
  • Being between 16 and 30 years old or at least 65 years old;
  • Suffering from a joint or bone disorder like arthritis or osteoporosis; and
  • Participating in risky activities like diving into shallow bodies of water or failing to wear proper safety gear when playing sports.

What Should I Do After Sustaining a Spinal Cord Injury?

If you sustained an SCI, your health should be your priority. Once your condition stabilizes, though, it is wise to seek legal counsel.

The costs associated with treating a spinal cord injury—and then living with the repercussions—can add up fast. Although the party who caused your injury may be liable for your medical bills and other damages, you will need strong evidence to prove your claim. Much of this evidence may be time sensitive, and there are strict deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits. For these and other reasons, it is important to consult an attorney at the earliest possible point in time.

Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a New York Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

If you or someone you love sustained a spinal cord injury in a preventable accident, your family may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other damages. To determine if you have grounds for a claim, turn to LoTempio P.C. Law Group.

Our strategic spinal cord injury lawyers are here to help people put their lives back together. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to set up a free case review with a personal injury attorney in New York.

What Is the Lifetime Cost of Living with a Spinal Cord Injury?Even a minor injury to the spine can have devastating consequences. Coping with impaired mobility can make every day feel like a struggle. In severe cases, a spinal cord injury (SCI) can affect the victim’s ability to earn an income and live independently.

Beyond the physical and psychological impacts of an SCI, the cost of healthcare can be exorbitant. In addition to surgeries and physical therapy, patients may need modifications to their homes and vehicles as well as mental health counseling. If you or someone you love suffered a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of another person, you may be entitled to compensation for these and other costs.

To determine if you have grounds for a claim, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. Our attorneys have an extensive background in catastrophic injury cases. We can assess your situation for free and help you make informed decisions. Call 716-855-3761 to schedule a consultation with a spinal cord injury lawyer in New York.

Read on to learn about the lifetime cost of living with an SCI:

Estimated Annual Expenses & Lifetime Costs

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation reports that the direct cost of living with a spinal cord injury can range from approximately $42,000 to $184,000 annually. These figures include living expenses and the cost of medical care.

Naturally, treating more severe SCIs will cost more per year than treating mild to moderate spinal cord injuries. But in nearly all cases, the first year of treatment is the most expensive.

The figures mentioned above only apply after the patient’s condition has stabilized. In the 12 months immediately following the accident, the direct cost can range from $347,000 to $1 million or more.

The total lifetime cost of living with an SCI depends on the age of the victim when the injury occurred. If someone sustains a spinal injury at 25 years old, he or she can expect to spend anywhere from $1.5 million to almost $5 million on living expenses and medical care over the course of his or her lifetime. If someone sustains a spinal cord injury at 50 years old, on the other hand, he or she might spend between $1 million and $3 million on living expenses and medical care.

These figures do not account for indirect costs associated with sustaining a spinal cord injury, such as lost wages and benefits, lost productivity, and loss of earning capacity. On average, these amount to about $70,000 per year.

Discuss Your Case with a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney in New York

If your family is struggling financially in the wake of an accident that left you or a loved one paralyzed, turn to LoTempio P.C. Law Group. Our highly experienced attorneys are well-versed in the statutes, case law, and procedures pertaining to catastrophic injury claims. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in New York.

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