The state Medical Examining Board disciplined three doctors on Tuesday, including fining a Norwich doctor $7,500 for failing to keep his prescription pad secure. The board also reprimanded the doctor, John Paggioli, who specializes in pain management. In addition to not providing adequate security of his prescription pad, Paggioli had pre-signed a blank prescription for a patient and held controlled substances in his office for various patients, a consent order he agreed to said. Though he denied any wrongdoing, Paggioli chose not to contest the allegations, the order said. “He absolutely learned from this,” the doctor’s lawyer, Hilary Fisher Nelson of Hartford, told the board.
Connecticut hospitals ranked fourth from the bottom nationally for timely treatment of sepsis, new data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) show. Sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an infection and occurs when an infection you already have triggers a chain reaction throughout your body, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Without timely treatment, sepsis can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and even death, the CDC reports. In 2015, CMS decided to start assessing hospitals’ treatment for sepsis. The first treatment statistics were released recently. A high percentage score means that a hospital has been following sepsis treatment protocols; a low score indicates poor sepsis care. Connecticut’s average score was 43 percent, compared with a national score of 49 percent, the data show. C-HIT has updated its Hospital Infections easy-to-use searchable database to include the sepsis ratings for each hospital.
A psychiatric nurse from Durham who lost a $4.2 million malpractice decision in 2016 in connection with her care of a patient who committed suicide was reprimanded Wednesday by the state Board of Examiners for Nursing. The board also placed the advanced practice registered nurse license of Catherine Florio, who treated the patient in 2009 at Harbor Health Services in Branford, on probation for six months, during which she must complete courses on the management of patients with depression or anxiety or who are considering suicide, according to a consent order Florio agreed to with the board. Florio must also complete a course on managing patients who are withdrawing from benzodiazepines, a class of drugs used to treat anxiety. In 2016, a New Haven Superior Court jury found Florio 35 percent responsible for the death of Alan Jarecki, a 55-year-old house painter from Madison who was admitted to Yale New Haven Hospital because he was considering suicide, the Connecticut Law Tribune reported. The jury found the hospital 65 percent liable for the death, but the hospital had previously settled the lawsuit with Jarecki’s family, the Law Tribune reported.
The state Department of Public Health (DPH) has fined four nursing homes following staff errors and lapses in care earlier this year. Gardner Heights Health Care Center in Shelton was fined $3,480 after a resident who was known to have difficulty swallowing choked on a lasagna noodle. The resident choked in a dining room on April 24. Staff performed the Heimlich maneuver several times with no success, according to DPH. When the resident subsequently was suctioned, a three-inch-long lasagna noodle was removed; the resident soon became more responsive, had improved color and began talking again.
Four Connecticut nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for various violations that hurt or endangered residents. Orchard Grove Specialty Care Center in Uncasville was fined $3,480 after a resident with multiple sclerosis developed severe blisters following a moist-heat treatment. On April 7, the resident had a fluid-filled blister that measured 8 by 6 centimeters on the right shoulder, as well as a red rash on the left shoulder. Two days later, the resident had “multiple areas of large fluid-filled blisters” on both shoulders that were oozing, according to the citation. An investigation found the blisters were caused by a treatment administered by an occupational therapist during which moist heat was applied with hydrocollator packs.
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing has suspended the licenses of two nurses and revoked the licenses of two others. Meeting July 18 in Hartford, the board revoked the licensed practical nurse license of Frances Pisaturo of East Haven. It had suspended her license in November, saying that while working at PSA Healthcare in Stratford this year, she used marijuana to excess and posed a danger to the public, state records show. The charges were deemed admitted at a hearing in April because Pisaturo did not attend it, records show. The board also revoked the LPN license of Shannon Eustace of Wolcott, who state records show was accused of using alcohol, cocaine and Ativan to excess in 2017 and having an emotional disorder or mental illness that affects her ability to practice safely.
It’s a summer afternoon and parents with their young children have gathered to hear what a nutritionist with Women, Infants and Children (WIC) has to offer. They watch with intrigue as Mary Paige demonstrates how to make yogurt dots from frozen Greek yogurt and French fries from roasted parsnips and carrots. After a 10-minute demo in the WIC office at Yale New Haven Hospital’s Primary Care Center, Stephany Uriostegui of West Haven is sold. She can’t wait to try the recipes at home for her 10-month-old son and 5- and 7-year-old daughters. “I always buy the [yogurt dots] from Walmart,” she said.
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 Board of Examiners for Nursing on Wednesday disciplined five nurses while dropping the charges against an Ansonia nurse because he is now serving 60 years in prison for an unrelated felony murder. The charges were dropped against Jermaine V. Richards, a former licensed practical nurse from Ansonia, because he was convicted in March of the felony murder of his ex-girlfriend, an Eastern Connecticut State University student, in 2013. Since Richards’ nursing license lapsed in 2016 and is now serving a long sentence for murdering Alyssiah Wiley, 20, of West Haven, the prosecution of administrative charges against him is unnecessary, an attorney for the state Department of Public Health told the board. In charges unrelated to the murder, Richards had been accused of being involved in a fight with a visitor in the home of one of his patients. In June 2017, the board revoked his nursing license because of the fight and after concluding that he slept while on duty at a patient’s home, but a month later, the board vacated the revocation because Richards had asked for a continuance.
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.