Inspection Reports: Hospitals Cited For Infant Injuries, Wrong Site Surgeries, Dusty Operating Rooms

Infant injuries, wrong-site surgeries, objects left in patients following procedures, and a health care worker hitting an “unruly” patient were among the incidents cited in hospital inspections conducted by the state Department of Public Health. The new reports, which can be found in C-HIT’s Data Mine Section, cover state inspections that were completed in 2021 with approved hospital corrective action plans. (You can find the new reports here.)

At William Backus Hospital, a pregnant woman suffering from drug abuse disorder delivered a baby who tested positive for fentanyl and buprenorphine.  During the time that the baby was under observation for neonatal abstinence syndrome (drug withdrawal), a parent holding the infant fell and reported “that the infant’s head may have touched the ground a little,” the report said. Following the incident, staff determined that the baby suffered a head injury and was transferred to a higher-level hospital. The state inspector said that the hospital “failed to develop a safe plan of care for the infant to prevent a fall with injury.”

The Hospital for Central Connecticut was cited for failing to identify that an infant was assessed when forceps were used in labor and delivery, which resulted in head injuries to the infant.

Med Board Fines Two Doctors After Bristol Hospital Patient Dies Of Sepsis

The state Medical Examining Board today issued $5,000 fines to three physicians including two Bristol Hospital Emergency Department doctors who failed to diagnose and treat a patient with sepsis who later died. Another physician was also disciplined by the board for failing to act on test results. Dr. Syed Hadi and Dr. Waile Ramadan both treated a man who was brought to the Bristol Hospital Emergency Department on Jan. 7, 2019 with a high fever and other symptoms of a bacterial infection but never prescribed antibiotics, according to state Department of Public Health (DPH) investigators. The man died of sepsis two days later, documents said.

Med Board Revokes Doctor’s License, Fines Four Others

The state Medical Examining Board last month revoked the license of a Shelton physician who failed to attend required mental health therapy sessions and fined four physicians for a variety of issues involving patient care. On Dec. 21, the board revoked the medical license of Dr. Nami Bayan, which had been under suspension since May 1, 2019. Bayan’s license to practice medicine was initially suspended for two years and he was ordered to participate in therapy sessions at least twice a month after he exhibited signs of a mental health issue, a disciplinary report said. In 2018 Bayan, a surgeon who worked at H & B Quality Medical Care in Shelton, had sent repeated e-mails to the state Department of Public Health (DPH) indicating he believed the police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were investigating the possibility of a terrorist attack based on a report he made, documents said.

Home Births Rise In Connecticut As Pandemic Prompts Women To Seek Alternatives To Hospitals

Cameron English got comfortable on the cushioned green exam table as her 3-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter played nearby. Initially, as midwife Carolyn Greenfield swept a monitor over English’s pregnant belly, there was only an indistinct swoosh. But before long, the instrument found and amplified a distinctive, quick double thump. English was all smiles, hearing her baby’s heartbeat for the first time. After English’s first three children were born in a hospital, she had her fourth child at home in 2020, attended by Greenfield, a certified professional midwife.

With Medical Bills Soaring, Nonprofits, Crowdfunding, Payment Plans Offer Some Debt Relief

In February, Lori Dingwell of Waterbury tested positive for COVID-19. She says she has yet to recover fully. The 53-year-old has seen her primary care physician, a neurologist, ophthalmologist, retinal specialist, infectious disease expert, and rheumatologist. After a host of scans, blood tests and “an abnormal spinal tap,” Dingwell—a member of the COVID long-hauler support group Survivor Corps—said physicians had no answers to help explain her malady. Adding to her woes, she racked up nearly $10,000 in medical debt.

More Women Than Men Put Off Medical Appointments Due To Pandemic, Survey Finds

Like many women throughout Connecticut, Isabella Vasquez of New Britain has missed or postponed health care appointments due to the pandemic. For the 23-year-old house cleaner, postponing medical appointments became necessary when the COVID-19 crisis affected childcare for her 2-year-old son. “I would have to not go to my appointments sometimes because I didn’t have childcare,” she said. “When COVID struck, that’s when daycare became less reliable.” If her son sneezed or had a runny nose, daycare would not accept him, Vasquez explained. More women than men have either missed medical appointments or postponed the care they thought they needed during the height of the pandemic, according to a recent DataHaven survey released in October of more than 5,000 randomly selected state residents.

Med Board Suspends Doctor’s License For Failing To Follow Probation Orders

The state Medical Examining Board agreed Tuesday to suspend the license of a physician who is accused of repeatedly failing to comply with the terms of his prior discipline for abusing alcohol. The board also disciplined a neurologist for his prescribing habits and supported a plan to reinstate the medical license of a former Madison physician who was convicted of criminal drug charges. In 2012, the board revoked the medical license of John D. Lynch II, a former emergency department physician with Hartford HealthCare, after he was fired for coming to work smelling of alcohol, state Department of Public Health (DPH) documents said. The board reinstated Lynch’s license in January 2020 and in February 2021 Lynch could have resumed practicing medicine in Connecticut under a three-year probation with certain conditions, including that he continue to seek alcohol abuse treatment, submit to random urine screens and attend private and group treatment. In June, a private therapist issued a report to the agency indicating that Lynch “was not able to practice medicine with reasonable skill or safety.” DPH documents also said that since February, when the probationary period began, 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.

Birth Control: Lots Of Options, But Scant Guidance

When University of Connecticut student Natalie Plebanek was 16 years old, she suffered heavy menstrual periods and subsequent fainting spells. But when she asked her pediatrician about a prescription for birth control pills, proven to reduce menstrual bleeding significantly, the doctor balked, citing a common myth. “She thought I would become extremely sexually active,” Plebanek said. Now 21, Plebanek is considering a more convenient method of birth control. Seeking advice from a gynecologist about her options, she was handed a brochure.

Medicare Penalizes 26 CT Hospitals For High Readmission Rates

Twenty-six Connecticut hospitals will lose some of their Medicare reimbursement payments over the next year as penalties for having too many readmitted patients, new data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) show. Nationally, Medicare is reducing payments to 2,499 hospitals, about 47% of all facilities, with the average penalty being 0.64%, according to a report by Kaiser Health News (KHN). This year’s penalties were based on tracking patients from July 1, 2017 through Dec. 1, 2019, so the influx of patient care during the pandemic is not included, CMS said. In Connecticut, 72 % of all hospitals in the program will face a loss in CMS payments, beginning October 2021 through September 2022.