The state Medical Examining Board Tuesday disciplined five doctors, including fining a Danbury obstetrician $5,000 for her lapses in care in connection with a baby girl’s death during delivery at Greenwich Hospital in June 2015.
The board also reprimanded Dr. Marjan Hedayatzadeh and found that she failed to make an adequate assessment of the baby’s well-being and failed to order an ultrasound of the baby and her twin brother, a consent order that Hedayatzadeh agreed to with the board said.
The order also said that Hedayatzadeh failed to accurately monitor the baby girl’s heart rate during three hours of labor and delivery, the consent order said. In signing the order, Hedayatzadeh did not contest the allegations or admit wrongdoing, the order said. The doctor has completed courses in fetal heart monitoring in the case of twin pregnancies and is now working under a protocol that requires an ultrasound in the case of all labor and deliveries, the order said.
In a letter to the state Department of Public Health, the mother of the baby objected to the penalties, saying they were “insufficient when compared to the harm she caused.” The mother’s name is redacted in the copy of the letter that was made public, but in an announcement of a lawsuit filed against Greenwich Hospital in January, her law firm identified her Lauren E. Sorgen.
The law firm, Silver Golub & Teitell, said that in hopes of preventing future infant fatalities at Greenwich Hospital, Sorgen and her husband, Grant D. Gulyassy, filed the wrongful death lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that the hospital and Hedayatzadeh failed to monitor the heartbeat and failed to deliver the girl, Myriam Grace Gulyassy, by emergency Caesarean section. The boy was safely delivered.
The suit claims that the hospital failed to institute proper procedures for the delivery of twins and that led to Myriam’s death of oxygen deprivation.
When the lawsuit was filed, the hospital told the Greenwich Time newspaper that it has instituted additional measures related to high-risk pregnancies.
David Tilles, a DPH staff attorney, told the board that the penalty was appropriate.
“This is obviously a tragic case, but we believe this is a remedy that protects the public going forward,’’ he said, adding that Hedayatzadeh is receiving more extensive supervision in her new practice.
Kathryn Emmett, chairwoman of the medical board, is married to David S. Golub, a partner in the Stamford firm. She recused herself from considering the disciplinary action against Hedayatzadeh.
On Tuesday, the board also disciplined four other doctors. It reprimanded Dr. Stephen Zebrowski of Plainville and placed his medical license on probation for a year for failing to meet the standard care in prescribing and monitoring controlled substances for a patient from 2009 to 2015, a consent order Zebrowski signed said. The patient had chronic pain and a history of substance abuse, the order said.
Zebrowski, who is retired from private practice but works in administration for ProHealth Physicians, did not to contest the allegations, which grew out of a complaint from a person who was fired from Zebrowski’s practice, the consent order said.
During the probation, Zebrowski’s employer must send monthly reports to the state and if he returns to providing direct patient care, he will have to hire a doctor to monitor his practice, the order said. If Zebrowski leaves ProHealth, he will be placed on an additional year’s probation for additional monitoring, DPH Principal Attorney Matthew Antonetti told the board.
Zebrowski’s prescribing practices have been called into question before. In a case that appears unrelated to the case before the medical board, an expert doctor found for the state Workers’ Compensation Commission that Zebrowski had over-prescribed Fentanyl for a patient’s back pain, a 2015 commission report said. The doctor found that Zebrowski’s over-prescribing of Fentanyl patches for the patient, Joseph P. Micale, likely contributed to Micale’s death from a Fentanyl overdose in 2012, the report said.
In 2011, an analysis of drug company records by C-HIT.org found that Zebrowski was the highest prescriber of Oxycontin in Connecticut, dispensing 511 prescriptions – or 200 more than the next highest prescriber.
He also was the second-highest prescriber of Roxicodone, the eighth-highest for Xanax and the fifth-highest for Duragesic, the brand name for the Fentanyl patch. Oxycontin, Roxicodone and Duragesic are narcotic painkillers considered highly addictive and prone to abuse; Xanax is used to treat anxiety.
The board also reprimanded Dr. Donald Berman of Stamford, who is now practicing in Indiana, in connection with a Washington state disciplinary action against him. Washington officials found that in 2014, while working at a hospital in their state, two female patients complained that Berman examined their breasts without their consent, Connecticut state records show. Washington officials found that the exams were not medically warranted, a consent order that Berman signed with Connecticut officials said. Berman chose not to contest the reprimand.
State law allows the Connecticut medical board to discipline doctors with medical licenses in Connecticut if they have been disciplined in other states.
On Tuesday, the board also reprimanded Dr. James Kessler, a radiologist from Roslyn, New York, in connection with findings by New York officials that in 2014, he committed professional misconduct by improperly accessing confidential patient information, records show.
New York officials fined him $10,000 and Pennsylvania officials fined him $5,000 in connection with the incident, records from those states show. Connecticut officials did not fine him, and he did not contest the allegations in a consent order with Connecticut officials.
The board also reprimanded Dr. Ernest Mar of Lakeside, Arizona in connection with disciplinary action taken in Arizona. A consent order Mar signed with the Connecticut board shows that in 2016, Arizona officials reprimanded him and placed his license on probation for two years for failing to properly treat a patient.
Mar failed to disclose that disciplinary action to Connecticut officials in 2016, the order said. In June of this year, Arizona officials also placed his license on probation for one year for improperly treating two patients, the order said.