State Disciplines Two Physicians, Fines A Bolton Doctor

The state Medical Examining Board voted Tuesday to discipline two physicians including issuing a $4,000 fine and one-year probation to a Bolton doctor who prescribed opioids to at least two patients but failed to provide adequate drug screening and documentation. The board also agreed to modify the terms of discipline for two physicians including a Fairfield County doctor who had done federal prison time as part of a compound medication cream scheme. The Department of Public Health (DPH) began looking into the practice of Dr. Ronald Buckman, of Bolton, in 2018 after receiving a complaint from an employee, according to a consent order. While the agency didn’t substantiate any issues with the way Buckman’s family-based practice was being managed, investigators did find that he had “deviated from the standard of care” for at least two patients for whom he had prescribed opioids, DPH papers said. Buckman failed to adequately document and examine one patient to whom he had prescribed painkillers while the patient was also taking muscle relaxers, an anti-seizure drug and possibly an antidepressant, prescribed by other physicians, the DPH said.

Nurses Disciplined For Drug Abuse, Care Lapses, Falling Asleep At Work

Over the past several months, the state Board of Examiners for Nursing has disciplined the following nurses for improper patient care, drug abuse and falsifying license paperwork, among other violations. • The registered nurse (RN) license of Sashni C. Popp of Norwalk was recently reprimanded and placed on probation for one year for failing to properly care for a patient’s wound and for not meeting the standard of care for wound treatment, according to her signed consent order. • The Connecticut RN license of Amy Slepica, of Lakeville, Minn., was revoked because she made false statements on her application for a CT nursing license in December 2017 and again on her license renewal in November 2018. Slepica, whose Minnesota RN license was disciplined in 2017 and 2018 for failure to provide adequate patient care and to maintain adequate patient records, indicated on her CT applications that her RN license had not been the subject of disciplinary action in any other state. • The RN license of Nicolette Strizzi of Windsor has been suspended indefinitely while the board investigates allegations of substance against her, according to her signed interim consent order.

Getting Workforce Back To Full Strength Will Require Faster, Easier, And Better COVID-19 Tests

After the COVID-19 crisis came to Connecticut, the New Haven office of Comprehensive Dental Health shut down completely for two weeks. Later, Dr. Joseph Tagliarini began opening the office a few days a week with a skeleton crew to handle emergencies. Now the office is operating at nearly full staffing—with six full-time and six part-time employees. Nobody on the staff has gotten sick, and Tagliarini wants to keep it that way. He hopes the health care industry will produce a new generation of tests for the virus that will be simple, inexpensive, and accurate, and will deliver results on the spot.

Low-Income Children Are Most Vulnerable To Pandemic’s Long-Term Effects

Tameeka Coleman and six of her children lived on the streets before moving into a shelter in Fairfield. “We were together, so it was bearable,” said Coleman, 38. The hardest part was when her children cried for their home. “They wanted to know how we had lost our apartment,” said Coleman, who was evicted after she couldn’t pay the rent. Living conditions play a key role in children’s well-being.

Vape Marketing Linked To COVID-19 Draws Critics

Vape manufacturers have long been accused of marketing to teens with flavors like mango and cotton candy. Now vaping opponents say vape manufacturers are exploiting the coronavirus with face mask and hand sanitizer giveaways and #COVID-19 discounts. One maker of disposable vapes, Bidi Vapor, declared on Instagram: “A Bidi Stick a day keeps the pulmonologist away.”

The national Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says the tactics are hypocritical. Its president, Matthew L. Myers, said it’s imperative that young people quit vaping to avoid being susceptible to COVID-19. “Never before in our history has it been more important for young people to have healthy lungs,’’ Myers said.

Ombudsman’s Facebook Chats Are Lifeline For Families Worried About Loved Ones In Nursing Homes

Families with loved ones in nursing homes–unable to visit while getting frustratingly sparse information about them–have found a champion in Mairead Painter. Painter, the state’s long term care ombudsman, who works for the state Department of Aging and Disability Services, launched live chat sessions on Facebook that quickly evolved into a real-time information pipeline for families. “I was trying to think about how we can reach people. Normally, residents and family members are sometimes the last people to get information,” said Painter, whose office is independent of the state Department of Public Health.  “I wasn’t sure anybody would join [the chats].

Nursing Homes Deaths Rise; 5 Facilities Cited By DPH

The number of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes increased to 6,947 from 6,008  in a week, and nursing home deaths now represent 59.8% of all COVID-related deaths, according to the latest figures released by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) Thursday night. Also, DPH released the first inspection reports done at nursing homes during the pandemic and cited five for infection-control violations and poor practices for use of personal protective equipment (PPE), among other violations. COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes rose to 1,927 from 1,627 in one week.  Of the state’s 215 nursing homes, 163 (76%) have at least one confirmed case of COVID-19, up from 160 a week ago. Riverside Health and Rehab Center in East Hartford reported the most COVID-19 deaths with 54, followed by Kimberly Hall North in Windsor, with 43; Abbott Terrace Health Center of Waterbury, with 41; and Shady Knoll Health Center in Seymour, with 35. The nursing home with the highest number of residents with COVID-19 is Litchfield Woods in Torrington, with 127, followed by Silver Springs Care Center in Meriden with 116, Abbott Terrace Health Center, Waterbury, with 115; Riverside Health and Rehab Center in East Hartford with 111, according to the DPH data.

Nursing Homes Fined After Resident’s Death, Injuries, Medication Error

The state has fined six nursing homes for violations that jeopardized residents’ safety, including an incident in which resident with Alzheimer’s was found dead outside a facility in Wallingford. The facilities were fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations that occurred between September 2019 and February 2020. Skyview Rehab and Nursing of Wallingford was fined $10,000 after a resident with Alzheimer’s disease left the facility in January and was found dead about 50 feet from the facility, DPH said. Staff noticed the resident was missing at 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 26, and the resident was found at 8:46 a.m., DPH reported.

Coping With Pandemic: Managing Fear

Fear of becoming infected with COVID-19 is reasonable – especially now with plans announced to start reopening Connecticut. There are things you can do to take precautions and be proactive and plan for your own safety. ConnHealthITeam · Coping With Pandemic: Manage Your Fear
C-HIT’s Colleen Shaddox talks with Rajita Sinha, Foundations Fund Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University and the founding director of the Yale Stress Center, about how to take control and manage fear during the pandemic.  

 

 

 

Nursing Home Cases, Deaths Continue To Rise

The number of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes increased to 6,008 from 4,814 in one week, and nursing home deaths now represent 58% of all COVID-related deaths, according to the latest figures released by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) Thursday night. COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes rose to 1,627 from 1,249 in one week.  The 1,627 deaths represent 58% of the state’s 2,797 COVID-19 deaths. Of the state’s 215 nursing homes, 160 have at least one confirmed case of COVID-19, up from 150 a week ago. Riverside Health and Rehab Center in East Hartford reported the most COVID-19 deaths with 47, followed by Kimberly Hall North in Windsor, with 40; Abbott Terrace Health Center of Waterbury, with 38; and Saint John Paul II Center in Danbury, with 30. The nursing home with the highest number of residents with COVID-19 is Litchfield Woods in Torrington, with 126, followed by Abbott Terrace Health Center, with 121; Branford Hills Health Care Center and Parkway Pavilion Health and Rehabilitation Center in Enfield, each with 93; Bride Brook Health & Rehabilitation Center, Niantic, with 96; and the Golden Hill Rehab Pavilion in Milford with 82, according to the DPH data.