The state’s weekly COVID summary: 967,471 residents have tested positive for COVID-19, with 3,923 testing positive over the last 7 days; the 7-day positivity rate is 9.89%, the state Department of Public Health (DPH) reported. The state reported 15,423,228 PCR/NAAT tests, with 39,652 residents testing positive over the last 7 days. Hospitalizations total 400. The state reported 14 deaths since Sept. 15, bringing the death total to 11,343.
The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday suspended the medical license of a Woodbridge pulmonologist for conducting sexually inappropriate examinations of two female patients and fined a West Hartford ophthalmologist $40,000 for failing to ensure that four patients received the correct implant during cataract surgery. State Department of Public Health (DPH) records show that the pulmonologist, Dr. Sushil K. Gupta, conducted the inappropriate exams between 2019 and 2022. In suspending his license, the board said Gupta poses a “clear and immediate danger to the public.”
DPH records show that Gupta also violated a 2013 decision of the board that required that he have a female chaperone in the room with him when examining or treating female patients. This is the second time that Gupta has been accused of sexually inappropriate exams of female patients. The board revoked his license in 2006 after finding that the testimony of two women was credible when they described Gupta touching them in inappropriate ways during pulmonary exams, state records show.
The state Medical Examining Board imposed disciplinary action against four doctors Tuesday, including fining a West Hartford ophthalmologist $15,000 for operating on the wrong eye and fining a Bridgeport radiologist $5,000 in connection with a delayed cancer diagnosis. The board also reprimanded the medical license of the ophthalmologist, Dr. Patrick F. Albergo, for failing to comply with his Connecticut Eye Center’s “time-out” procedures and failing to maintain adequate medical records, according to a consent order he signed. Albergo, who chose not to contest the allegations, has completed courses in medical recordkeeping and changed protocols at the center to make sure that surgeons mark the correct eye before operating, the order said. The patient needed surgery on both eyes, and both procedures were done on separate days but in the wrong order, state Department of Public Health records (DPH) show. Board member Dr. Robert A. Green said the excuse that the patient needed surgery on both eyes is not acceptable.
Doctor Stacy J. Taylor routinely asks her patients about safe gun storage at home. “I had someone say they put it in their bedside table and it is loaded,” said Taylor, a family practitioner with Trinity Health New England. “So, I said, ‘Maybe that’s not a great idea. If you don’t have a safe, at least keep the gun in one place and the bullets in another.’” Her patient promised to consider making a change. Questions about safe gun storage don’t pop up at every annual physical or well visit.
The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday suspended the license of a Stamford doctor after state Department of Public Health officials said his excessive use of alcohol and drugs and his mental illnesses may affect his ability to safely practice medicine. A statement of charges against him says that Dr. Jeffrey Stern excessively used alcohol and narcotics in 2019 and 2020 and since 2019, has had mental illnesses or emotional disorders. DPH records show that Stern was arrested on Aug. 29, 2020 and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to use and driving while intoxicated. It was unclear where the arrest took place.
The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday fined an Oxford doctor $10,000 for fraudulently using another doctor’s name and Drug Enforcement Agency registration number to prescribe controlled substances to a family member. In addition to the fine, board also voted unanimously to reprimand the medical license of the doctor, Marc D. Legris, and ordered him to take a course in ethics and to practice in a supervised office setting. The order does not indicate the name of the doctor that Legris used. In a consent order approved by the board, Legris chose not to contest the allegations. Department of Public Health records show that in August 2021, Legris surrendered his own DEA registration and Connecticut controlled substance credential.
When it comes to environmental vulnerability, one group of people society often marginalizes has started to act up in Connecticut. Activists say one major category is missing when policymakers look at climate change preparation: the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) community. An environmental activist movement for LGBTQ+ people has been building in the New Haven area for a few years. Those involved in the movement say evidence is beginning to accumulate that makes a clear connection between environmental threats, sexual orientation and gender identity. Their environmental vulnerability comes mainly from this group’s higher poverty rates.
Isolation and lack of social get-togethers during the pandemic took a toll on high school students nationally, a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports. The findings are based on anonymous online questionnaires taken during the first six months of 2021. About 7,700 high school students in grades 9-12, who attend 128 public and private schools, participated. According to the CDC survey results:
• More than a third (37%) of high school students said they experienced poor mental health. • About 44% said they felt sad or hopeless in the past year.
More than 1,000 Connecticut children under age 6 were reported poisoned by lead in 2020, according to a report released this week by the state Department of Public Health (DPH). Of the children tested that year, 649 were new cases. As has been the case for many years, nearly half of the 1,024 lead-poisoned children lived in the state’s cities. New Haven had the highest number of lead-poisoned children, with 171, followed by Bridgeport, 148; Waterbury, 81; Hartford, 71; and Meriden, 35. These five cities had 49% of all lead-poisoned children in Connecticut in 2020.
The state Medical Examining Board revoked the Connecticut medical license of a physician for a second time Tuesday after he failed to follow the terms of reinstatement including seeking help for alcohol abuse and submitting to random urine screenings. John D. Lynch II, MD, was granted a reinstatement by the board in January 2020. Under the terms, Lynch could have started practicing in February 2021, documents said. But by June 2021, a private therapist issued a report to the state Department of Public Health (DPH) indicating that Lynch “was not able to practice medicine with reasonable skill or safety.”
DPH documents also said that since February 2021, Lynch has not attended individual or support group treatment meetings, failed to submit random urine screens and failed to participate in a required clinical skills evaluation. A therapist also reported that that Lynch was off his regular medication for a mental health issue due to the cost and would likely not be able to safely practice unless he resumed the medication, documents said.