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.
New Haven resident Kimberly Streater was pregnant with her third of six children when she called her friend for a ride to the hospital after sustaining a hit to her stomach by her then-husband. When she reached the hospital, Streater, not yet 28 weeks pregnant, alerted personnel that her baby was coming—now. “They said, ‘No, no, he’s not coming,’ after I told them he was,” she recalled. Minutes later, Howie was born at 3 pounds and 1.5 ounces in the admitting area of the hospital, just as Streater had predicted. Statistically, the preterm birth of Streater’s baby does not come as a surprise.
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.
A day after Hurricane Sandy hit, Nancy Arnold waded down her basement stairs and saw five feet of storm surge partially submerging her furnace and hot water heater. After the water eventually retreated, and the local fire department pumped out the rest, Arnold had another worry: mold. A husband and wife who had done painting for the Arnolds showed up and offered to wash the home’s lower level with bleach. “Where would I have been without that,” Arnold wondered this summer, “because they knew about the mold, and they Cloroxed the whole basement. If there’s another storm, I don’t know if they’re up to do that again.”
Arnold has lived in her house near the end of Whitfield Street in Guilford since 1962. She and her family evacuated to a local community center for six hours during the worst of Sandy’s tempest.
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.
Among women, those who are low-income or minority are less likely to get treatment for depression, according to multiple studies. A report by the Connecticut Behavioral Health Partnership found that women were underrepresented in Medicaid-funded behavioral health services in the state even though research shows that women suffer from the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders more frequently than men. Racial and ethnic disparities, while still considerable, are decreasing in some physical illnesses. “But in mental health care, in the last 10 years, we see those disparities widening,” said Megan Smith, associate professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and in the Child Study Center in the Yale School of Medicine, who runs the Mental health Outreach for MotherS (MOMS) Partnership®, a program that offers mental health services to “overburdened and under-resourced mothers.”
In this podcast, sponsored by ConnectiCare, Colleen Shaddox discusses the hurdles to mental health care and the programs breaking barriers to care with Yale’s Megan Smith and UConn Health’s Dr. Sarah Nguyen. Lack of insurance coverage, the cost of treatment, a shortage of qualified clinicians, stigma and even fear of losing custody of their children can keep women from seeking help, Smith said.
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, and affects women at about twice the rate that it does men. In Connecticut, 21.4 percent of women report experiencing depression, compared with 13.4 percent of men, according to 2015 Department of Public Health data. Millennial women in the state experience depression four more days in an average month than their male counterparts, the Status of Women data project reported this year. Women are more likely to use mental health services than men, but studies consistently show that the majority of Americans with depression go untreated. In this podcast, sponsored by ConnectiCare, Colleen Shaddox discusses depression and pathways to better mental health with Yale’s Carolyn Mazure, and NYTimes best-selling author Luanne Rice.
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.
Six Connecticut nursing homes have been cited and fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations, including one instance in which a resident died after a series of staff errors. St. Camillus Center in Stamford was fined $6,000 after a resident died and video footage at the facility subsequently showed staff waited 10 minutes to administer CPR after finding the resident unresponsive. On Feb. 16, 2018, a resident with lung cancer was found sitting on the floor.