State Nursing Board Suspends 4 Licenses, Disciplines 2 For Drug, Alcohol Abuse

The state Board of Examiners for Nursing last week suspended the licenses of four nurses and disciplined two others, all for drug- or alcohol-related offenses. The board summarily suspended the registered nurse (RN) license of Kathryn Lovejoy after it found her severe alcohol use disorder, as well as multiple emotional and substance abuse disorders, represent a clear and immediate danger to the public health and safety. Lovejoy, of New Haven, entered a rehabilitation program in March 2018 and was required to submit to random urine screens and breathalyzer tests, records show. In June 2019 the rehabilitation center referred Lovejoy’s case to the state Department of Public Health (DPH) after she used alcohol and failed to comply with urine tests, stating “they were unable to confirm [whether Lovejoy was] … fit to practice [nursing],” according to the motion for summary suspension. The board also summarily suspended the licensed practical nurse (LPN) license of Tammy Piccirillo of Seymour who, according to a May 2019 consent order she signed, abused opiates from 2017 to 2018.

Three Nursing Homes Fined Following Lapses In Care

Three nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations that occurred in 2017 and last year. Long Ridge Post-Acute Care in Stamford was fined $3,270 after a resident was found lying on the floor multiple times. The care plan for the resident, who had Alzheimer’s disease and anxiety, directed that the resident be kept in front of the nurse’s station when out of bed. According to the citation, the resident was found on the floor multiple times in 2017: June 23, June 27, July 4, Aug. 9 and Aug.

Nasal Spray Offers Hope For Severely Depressed Patients

Some Connecticut hospitals and doctors and a clinic are starting to treat severely depressed patients with a new nasal spray called Spravato, touted as the most significant federally approved depression medication since Prozac was approved in 1987. Spravato, which received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in March, has raised hopes for preventing suicides and relieving depression after other treatments have failed. But there are concerns about possible side effects, including drug abuse, elevated blood pressure and heart rate, sedation, and hypersensitivity to surroundings. The nasal spray is prescribed for treatment-resistant depression after at least two other antidepressants haven’t worked and is given with an oral antidepressant. It is only administered in restrictive clinical settings to reduce potential for abuse and side effects.

State Fines Nursing Homes For Lax Resident Supervision, Falls, Medication Error

Seven Connecticut nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for lapses in care that endangered or hurt residents. Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Canaan was fined $10,000 after a resident with dementia inappropriately touched four other residents. The resident came to the facility Feb. 27, from another nursing home and had a history of sexually inappropriate behavior, according to the citation. Geer documented four incidents of inappropriate touching of other residents between Feb.

Hospitals Cited For Fatal Errors, Child Abduction And Sexual Assault

A mother’s death a day after childbirth, a patient’s brain injury and death following thyroid gland surgery, a child’s abduction, and a sexual assault involving two patients were among the incidents cited in the latest round of hospital inspection reports conducted by the state Department of Public Health (DPH). The 36 new reports, which can be found in C-HIT’s Data Mine section, cover state inspections that took place at hospitals between 2017 and earlier this year. There were several instances when objects were left in patients following surgery. At Manchester Memorial Hospital, a series of staff errors contributed to a woman’s death one day after giving birth to a stillborn baby, the DPH inspection report said. The patient delivered the baby Jan.

State Fines 3 Docs A Total Of $25,500

The state Medical Examining Board has disciplined three doctors and fined them a total of $25,500 for lapses in the care of patients. The board, meeting in Hartford on July 16, reprimanded Dr. William Guinan of South Windsor and fined him $10,000 for failing to perform PAP smears on one of his patients for six years after having diagnosed her with cancer in 2009, state records show. Guinan surgically removed the woman’s uterus and one ovary to treat the cancer, a consent order he agreed to said. In 2015, she was diagnosed with Stage III metastatic vaginal cancer. The order said Guinan had failed to adequately document a treatment plan for her in 2009, failed to instruct the patient about her long-term cancer risks and failed to review her medical history during exams over the next six years.

State Revokes 3 Nurses’ Licenses, Cites Others For Drug, Alcohol Abuse

The state Board of Examiners for Nursing on Wednesday revoked the licenses of three nurses and disciplined six others, mostly for alcohol and drug abuse violations. The board revoked the registered nurse (RN) license of Kathryn Y. Ford of Wilton after finding that her continued practice as a nurse posed a threat to public safety, according to a memorandum of decision. Ford’s license had previously been suspended for using marijuana, cocaine and heroin to excess from January 2017 to August 2018. The licensed practical nurse (LPN) license of Presley Eze of West Hartford, who has a long history of disciplinary actions, was also revoked. State records show that Eze was high on PCP in 2011 when he brandished a sword outside the Trader Joe’s store in West Hartford, and he has been arrested four times since then, records show.

Identifying LGBTQ Community’s Needs Is Network’s First Task

During 2018, members of the advocacy group CT Equality traveled around the state to listen to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) community talk about their challenges and concerns about life in Connecticut. The conversations, said Rep. Jeffrey Currey, D-East Hartford, deputy majority leader who attended one of the meetings in Hartford, had common themes, including a need for additional services and programs.

Among other tangible efforts during the legislative session that ended June 5, such as a ban on the so-called “gay panic defense,” the conversations moved Connecticut legislators to create an LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network, which is charged with creating a safe environment for members of the community. This comes at a time when the Trump administration is rolling back rights at a historic rate. In June, the administration announced it would cut funding for a University of California HIV and AIDS research program. Trump has announced plans to allow “religious exemptions” to adoption agencies that want to deny services for LTBTQ couples.

DPH Fines Nursing Homes After Errors Result In Injuries, Amputation, Falls

Five nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for errors that endangered or injured residents. Regency House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Wallingford was fined $10,000 for two violations. On Sept. 14, 2018, a resident suffered a calf laceration that needed 10 sutures after a wheelchair rolled into a bed frame. A nurse aide wheeled the resident in front of a bathroom door and walked to a dresser to get a comb when the wheelchair continued to roll.

Feds Fine, Sanction Bridgeport Hospital Following Errors In Testing Specimens

Bridgeport Hospital has been sanctioned and fined $150,000 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) after the hospital erroneously switched eight patient specimens, according to newly released documents. The errors in July 2017 resulted in two patients being given the wrong cancer diagnosis. In one case, a 41-year-old woman had a hysterectomy after being told she had cancer only to learn after the procedure that she did not. The second patient was a 66-year-old who was told that lab results were normal, only to learn later that there was a malignancy present, according to Bridgeport Hospital’s inspection report issued by the state Department of Public Health (DPH). The violations were found when DPH inspectors made unannounced visits to Bridgeport Hospital in July 2018.