The state Board of Examiners for Nursing on Wednesday disciplined four nurses for drug use and other violations. The board placed the LPN license of Ashley E. Lambert of Thompson on probation for four years and ordered her to attend therapy, undergo random drug tests and attend a support group eight to 10 times a month, according to her signed consent order. According to documents, Lambert was found to have abused or used to excess heroin, cocaine, marijuana and Trazadone from 1998 until April 2019. The board also reprimanded the registered nurse (RN) license of Elaine B. Simms-Walton of Enfield, placed her license on probation for six months, and ordered her to take coursework in advanced directives and critical thinking. According to her signed consent order, Simms-Walton was working as a nurse supervisor with a resident who had a physician’s order that requested life-sustaining treatment, including CPR, in an emergency.
Six nursing homes have been fined by the state for violating a resident’s privacy, verbally abusing a resident and for violations that resulted in residents’ injuries. Whitney Center in Hamden was fined $6,120 after a nurse aide used her personal cellphone to take a picture of a resident being transferred to a shower chair with a Hoyer lift on June 18, 2019, according to a citation issued by the state Department of Public Health (DPH). The resident and nurse aide disagreed on what happened, according to DPH. The aide said the resident wanted the photo taken, but the resident said that was not the case. The aide deleted the photo from the cellphone.
It was a 70-degree day in January 2014, and Cristin Buckley was at her daughter’s basketball game with her husband and twin sons. The boys were planning to head to Target to buy baseball cards after the game, but before they could leave, 7-year-old Ben said he was having difficulty breathing and needed a nebulizer treatment. Ben’s dad took him home. “My husband called me and said, ‘Have you ever done a nebulizer treatment and have it not work?’ and I said, ‘No,’ and at that point he realized something was wrong,” Buckley said. Forty minutes after they left the basketball game, Ben was unconscious in their driveway.
The number of “adverse events” occurring at Connecticut hospitals rose 7% in 2018, compared with the previous year, with a growing number of patients suffering serious injury or death associated with falls, according to a new state report. Overall, the total number adverse events, or medical errors, reported by hospitals rose to 376, from 351 in 2017, according to the state Department of Public Health (DPH). Of the 29 categories tracked, tallies rose in 12, declined in seven and remained flat in 10. “I’m very discouraged by the report,” said Lisa Freeman, executive director of the Connecticut Center for Patient Safety. “Some of these numbers, they give me chills, they’re so frightening.
A hysterectomy performed on a patient based on a faulty test result, and the death of two patients after failing to receive necessary monitoring or medication, failure to immediately investigate a complaint of patient abuse by a doctor, were among the incidents cited in the latest round of hospital inspection reports conducted by the state Department of Public Health (DPH). The 24 new reports, which can be found in C-HIT’s Data Mine Section, cover state inspections that took place at hospitals last year and earlier this year. At Bridgeport Hospital, a patient underwent a total hysterectomy after her biopsy results were contaminated by another patient’s. The patient had a hysteroscopy procedure on Dec. 3, 2018, during which a biopsy was taken.
Three nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations that include posting a video on social media of a resident in a wheelchair asking for a cheese sandwich. Montowese Health and Rehabilitation Center in North Haven was fined $1,320 after a nurse aide posted the video of the resident on Snapchat, DPH said. On Aug. 29, 2019, a family member of the resident called the facility to complain about the video. In the video, the resident was seated in a wheelchair, wearing a white helmet and repeatedly asking for a grilled cheese sandwich.
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing last week revoked the licenses of three nurses and disciplined four other nurses, mostly for drug or alcohol abuse. The licensed practical nurse (LPN) license of Dionne Brown of Bristol was revoked after she was found to have abused or utilized to excess oxycodone and Percocet in 2015 and 2016 while working at Village Green of Bristol Rehabilitation & Health Center; requested and was granted continuances of two hearings on her license; and then failed to attend a scheduled hearing in March 2019. The board also revoked the LPN license of Christine DeFusco of Rocky Hill after she failed to comply with the terms of her four-year probation that began Jan. 1, 2019, for using alcohol to excess; and for failing to attend a hearing after she was notified of her non-compliance with the terms of her probation, which included submitting to random drug tests. The LPN license of Katie Ann Martins of Naugutuck was revoked by the board after it found her abuse of alcohol, Klonopin and cocaine affected her ability to practice as a nurse.
One recent evening at Middletown’s Russell Library, a group of young millennials sat around a table in an out-of-the-way spot, sharing their experiences of debilitating depression and anxiety. “I think you just get to the point where you’re like, ‘I don’t want to live like this anymore,’ ” said Old Saybrook resident Collin Schuster, 25, who has been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. “The really important thing for me is to reach out for support.”
The session is one of more than 60 support groups offered by the Connecticut chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). This one is specifically for young adults, age 18 to 29. Between 2014 and 2017, the prevalence rate for depression grew 31%, the largest increase of any health condition affecting millennials age 21 to 36, according to a recent Blue Cross Blue Shield report that examined those covered by commercial health insurance.
The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday disciplined two physicians with fines of $10,000 or more, including a Stamford doctor for a lack of documentation while prescribing to employees. The board also agreed to withdraw charges against two other physicians who either voluntarily relinquished their medical license or agreed to allow their license to lapse. Dr. Laurence Kirwan of Stamford, was fined $12,500 for a lack of adequate documentation while prescribing medication to three of his employees who were also patients from 2009 to 2017, according to a consent order. It was Kirwan’s second reprimand and fine before the board, according to state records. In 2017, he was fined $2,500 for failing to maintain adequate treatment records and documentation for a surgical patient from March to July 2014.
The state Department of Public Health (DPH) has fined four nursing homes for violations that resulted in resident harm. Village Crest Center for Health and Rehabilitation in New Milford was fined $10,000 for two violations. On June 14, 2019, two residents were found by a dietary aide walking outside near the facility. One of the two residents had fallen and was an elopement risk, but wasn’t identified as one in documentation, DPH said. As the residents were leaving the facility, a receptionist who saw them thought that one of the people in the foyer was a guest, signing the resident out, according to the DPH.