As fertility rates fall nationwide, Connecticut continues to rank among the lowest in the country—a trend doctors attribute to women here delaying childbearing. In 2016, the most recent year for which state-level data is available, Connecticut had 53.4 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, compared with a national average of 62 per 1,000 women, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Just four states had lower rates than Connecticut in 2016, and all are in New England: Vermont at 50.3 births per 1,000 women, New Hampshire at 50.9, Rhode Island at 51.8 and Massachusetts at 51.9. The states with the highest fertility rates in 2016 were South Dakota at 77.7, North Dakota at 77.3, Utah at 76.2 and Alaska at 76.1, the CDC reports. Unlike birth rates, which take an entire population into account, fertility rates reflect the share of babies born to women of childbearing age. Connecticut typically ranks low on the list, along with other “high achievement, high education states,” said Dr. Harold J. Sauer, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale New Haven Health’s Bridgeport Hospital.
The state Department of Public Health (DPH) has fined four nursing homes for violations that resulted in injuries to residents. Marlborough Health and Rehabilitation Center was fined $3,270 after a resident suffered two leg fractures when a nurse aide failed to transport the resident properly. The resident, who had Alzheimer’s disease and other diagnoses, was screaming in pain with a swollen left leg on Nov. 27, 2017, and an X-ray at the facility showed a broken left femur. The resident was transferred to a hospital, according to DPH.
Six Connecticut nursing homes have been cited and fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations, including one instance in which a resident died after a series of staff errors. St. Camillus Center in Stamford was fined $6,000 after a resident died and video footage at the facility subsequently showed staff waited 10 minutes to administer CPR after finding the resident unresponsive. On Feb. 16, 2018, a resident with lung cancer was found sitting on the floor.
Once a week, every week, the health center at Stamford High School offers sophomore Roger Sanchez an oasis—someplace he can talk to a trusted adult about life’s pressures and problems, a place he feels free and unjudged. School work, sports commitments, family and social obligations: life as a teenager can be stressful, he says. If it weren’t for the health center, conveniently located where he spends most of his days, he would have a much harder time accessing counseling sessions that help him cope with anxiety. “The health center helps me out academically, emotionally and physically,” he said, and he recommends it to friends. “They get nervous, kind of, but I try my best to get them to come in.
The state Department of Public Health (DPH) has fined six nursing homes for various violations that endangered or injured residents. Masonicare Health Center in Wallingford was fined $3,900 after a resident developed a severe pressure ulcer. On June 12, 2017, a resident who suffered incontinence and was a risk for skin breakdown was diagnosed with an unstageable deep tissue injury in the lower back. An advanced practice registered nurse determined the resident had the wrong type of mattress and recommended the use of a pressure-reducing cushion, according to DPH. Once the resident received the cushion, it was under-inflated on multiple occasions and documentation from May through August failed to show staff were monitoring its inflation, according to the citation.
A growing number of reproductive-age women are taking prescription medication to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), data show, but doctors warn the effects of such drugs on pregnancies are largely unknown. The number of privately insured women nationwide between the ages of 15 and 44 who filled a prescription for an ADHD medication soared 344 percent from 2003 to 2015, from 0.9 percent to 4 percent, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ADHD medication use increased among all age brackets within that group and in all geographic regions, data show. The biggest spikes were seen in women ages 25 to 29, among which medication use jumped 700 percent, from 0.5 percent in 2003 to 4 percent in 2015. The second-largest increase was among women ages 30 to 34, which had a 560 percent increase from 0.5 percent to 3.3 percent, according to the CDC.
Three Connecticut nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for various violations. The Curtis Home St. Elizabeth Center in Meriden was fined $3,000 following an incident in which a resident suffered nose fractures and numerous head lacerations that required sutures and staples after being hit repeatedly on the head with a wheelchair foot pedal by another resident. On Aug. 22, 2017, a resident was found by staff in “a pool of blood all over” and another resident was standing over the resident’s bedside striking the resident, according to DPH.
The state Department of Public Health (DPH) has fined six nursing homes for violations that resulted in injuries to residents. Cheshire Regional Rehabilitation Center was fined $3,000 after a resident, who required staff assistance to eat was left alone and choked on a roll. On the morning of Oct. 10, 2017, the resident, who had functional quadriplegia and difficulty swallowing, was found next to a dining room table that had a plate of rolls on it and was holding a roll. A licensed practical nurse took the roll away from the resident and left the room, but a surveyor subsequently saw the resident wheeze and cough out a piece of the roll, according to DPH.
Seven Connecticut nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations that endangered or injured residents. Harbor Village North Health and Rehabilitation Center in New London was fined $3,000 for four violations. On Aug. 1, 2017, a resident with pulmonary heart disease was hospitalized with low blood pressure and incontinence after a registered nurse administered medication intended for another resident, according to DPH. On that same date, a second resident was mistakenly given long-acting insulin instead of fast-acting insulin by a licensed practical nurse (LPN).
About half of Connecticut hospitals—15 out of 31—will lose part of their Medicare payments in 2018 as a penalty for having relatively high rates of patients who acquired preventable injuries and infections while hospitalized. The hospitals are among 751 nationwide that will lose 1 percent of their Medicare reimbursements in this fiscal year. The penalties are part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program, which is part of the Affordable Care Act. The program penalizes hospitals with the highest rates of patients who got infections from hysterectomies, colon surgeries, urinary tract catheters and central line tubes. It also tallies those who suffered from blood clots, bed sores or falls while hospitalized.