A Survival Tool In Transgender Community, Breast Binders Are In High Demand

Requests for free breast binders by transgender youths in 2022 have outnumbered supplies at Health Care Advocates International (HCAI) in Stratford, which serves LGBTQ and HIV communities. HCAI received 126 binder requests in the first three weeks of January alone, crushing last year’s numbers and temporarily wiping out inventory. The group sent out 190 binders in all of 2021. A quarter of them went to Connecticut youths, with the rest shipped nationwide and beyond. “The numbers are jumping because there is such a need,” says Tony Ferraiolo, the Youth & Family Program director at HCAI.

The Migraine Breakthrough

Migraines have baffled humankind at least as far back as the ancient Egyptians, who blamed the excruciating headaches, and their often-accompanying visual auras and nausea, on the supernatural. Now, in a development doctors are calling revolutionary, an international group of neurologists has deciphered the mystery of why people get migraines and, in doing so, has determined how to greatly reduce their frequency and severity. The discovery “has revolutionized our treatment of migraine,” said Dr. P. Christopher H. Gottschalk, a neurologist at Yale Medicine and a professor of neurology at the Yale School of Medicine. “I’m witnessing a change in the landscape,” said Dr. Sandhya Mehla, a headache specialist and vascular neurologist with Hartford HealthCare Medical Group. “I would say this is a milestone.”

The discovery, the fruit of 40 years of research, won four scientists in Sweden, Denmark and the United States the 2021 Brain Prize, the world’s most prestigious award in neurology.

Surging Behavioral Health Care Needs For Children Put Strain On School Social Workers

On paper, the social worker’s role at public K-12 schools is straightforward: to support a caseload of students with special needs to thrive in often-challenging academic setting. But ask a social worker employed in a public school these days, and they’re likely to tell a much different story. For social worker Jara Rijs, who works at Windham Center School, where more than half of its pre-K through fifth-grade students qualify for subsidized lunch, the job responsibilities bleed well beyond the job description, particularly since the pandemic hit. As many in her school community face trauma either induced or exacerbated by the pandemic, Rijs says she considers every one of the estimated 250 students at her elementary school part of her caseload. Beyond providing clinical support to students with individual education plans, in a given day, Rijs might also meet with a student struggling with a family loss or divorce, connect to a community health agency to check availability, lead a staff discussion on self-care, or even don the school’s “froggy” mascot costume—a symbol of the school’s “Froggy Four” character development program.

Med Board Denies Request To Reconsider Revocation Of Shelton Doc’s License

The state Medical Examining Board denied Wednesday the request of a Shelton physician to reconsider the December revocation of his medical license after he failed to attend required mental health therapy. In a unanimous decision, the board denied Dr. Nami Bayan’s request for reconsideration following a brief hearing Wednesday morning. Bayan was seeking to have the revocation sent to a hearing on claims that state Department of Public Health (DPH) staff “tampered with evidence” and the board disregarded information that showed he had largely complied with the terms of a two-year suspension, documents show. “This action is an obvious crime,” said Bayan who added that information on his therapy was “neglected and wrongfully dismissed.”

Bayan’s license to practice medicine was suspended in 2019 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. But DPH investigators concluded that he had missed several months of required therapy while he was out of the country from July 2020 to March 2021, according to documents.

Calls To Rethink The War On Opioids

When three 13-year-old boys were sickened by the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl at a Hartford middle school on Jan. 13, it was a shocking reminder of the human toll of the opioid crisis. One of the boys later died and a sweep of the school surfaced 40 small plastic bags of the drug. Later that same day, dozens of people spoke out against a proposal to locate a methadone clinic on a commercial street on the New Haven-Hamden border. During the ongoing battle with COVID-19, there seems to be less attention being paid to opioid addiction, advocates say.

Safety Net For Neglected Older Teens Can Be Difficult To Secure

Emily Kendricks has to eat soft foods, just like her grandfather. Although she’s only 18, she’s missing six teeth due to her parents’ dental neglect, advocates say. Her mother ignored her, excluded her from meals, and did not return urgent calls from Kendricks’ school guidance counselor, so Kendricks left home and moved in with a friend’s family. Despite efforts to bring Kendricks’ case to the attention of the state Department of Children and Families (DCF) by that counselor and her friend’s mother starting a few weeks after her 17th birthday, DCF did not take Kendricks into state care until shortly before her 18th birthday. “There was a long period of time where I couldn’t understand why DCF didn’t help,” Kendricks said.

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.