Nurse Gets Probation Following Baby’s Death, Three Other Nurses Disciplined

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The state Board of Examiners for Nursing Wednesday placed an East Hartford nurse’s license on probation for two years in connection with the death of a 13-month-old girl she was caring for in Manchester in 2014.

A 2016 investigative report found that Shirley A. Powell, a licensed practical nurse, had failed to provide rescue breathing and CPR when the girl’s tracheotomy tube became dislodged.

Under a consent order approved by the board Wednesday, Powell is permanently barred from caring for a patient with an artificial airway in a home health care setting or in any setting without the presence of other licensed nurses. The order does allow her to continue caring for one adult with an artificial airway who she has been caring for since 2008. Her employer will have to regularly report to DPH on the quality of Powell’s care of that patient.

The order also says that Powell must also complete courses in critical thinking skills and emergency response. The 2016 report by Helen M. Centeno, a nurse consultant for the state Department of Public Health, found that Powell failed to safeguard the girl by not having a direct view of her in a playpen in her home on the day of her death, Aug. 15, 2014.

Manchester police concluded that the tube dislodged when the girl was out of Powell’s sight for 3 to 15 minutes, but a prosecutor decided not to file criminal charges, the report said.

Powell has denied that she failed to keep the baby safe but chose not to contest the allegations, the consent order said.

In addition to Powell, the board disciplined three other nurses on Wednesday.

It revoked the LPN license of Megan Surprenant, of the Taftville section of Norwich. In August, the board had suspended her license, saying she posed a clear and immediate danger to the public.

State records show that between December 2015 and March 2016, Surprenant failed to document the administration of two painkillers – Oxycodone and Tramadol – and an anti-anxiety drug, Lorazepam, to patients while working as a nurse at Orchard Grove Specialty Care Center in the Uncasville section of Montville.

The board fined Richard Nadan, a registered nurse from Bayside, New York, $2,500 and reprimanded him in connection with disciplinary action taken in New York. Connecticut records show that he admitted to altering an infection control certificate and submitting it to his employer in Manhasset, New York.

The board also placed the registered nurse license of Fernando Roldan of Hartford on probation for four years and ordered him to submit to random drug and alcohol tests.

Records show that Roldan admitted that he abused alcohol between 2010 and 2014. The board’s memorandum of decision says that Roldan was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol for the third time in 2013 and spent a year in prison. It also said he was fired from his job at Connecticut Valley Hospital’s Whiting Forensic Institute, where he had worked for 20 years, for using unreasonable force during a restraint of a patient.

The board found he had accepted full responsibility for his misconduct and has made positive changes to maintain his sobriety and to practice safely while on probation.

The board was also prepared to hold a hearing Wednesday in the case of RN Samantha Angelini of East Granby, but officials said she voluntarily surrendered her nursing license. State records show she was accused of abusing Ritalin, Adderall, Percocet, marijuana, Suboxone, alcohol and cocaine in 2013 and 2014.

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