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.

Medicare Penalizes 26 CT Hospitals For High Readmission Rates

Twenty-six Connecticut hospitals will lose some of their Medicare reimbursement payments over the next year as penalties for having too many readmitted patients, new data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) show. Nationally, Medicare is reducing payments to 2,499 hospitals, about 47% of all facilities, with the average penalty being 0.64%, according to a report by Kaiser Health News (KHN). This year’s penalties were based on tracking patients from July 1, 2017 through Dec. 1, 2019, so the influx of patient care during the pandemic is not included, CMS said. In Connecticut, 72 % of all hospitals in the program will face a loss in CMS payments, beginning October 2021 through September 2022.

Data Show Decrease In Prison Sex Abuse Reports, But Survivor Advocates Say Fear And Ambivalence Persist

For eight months in 1995, LaResse Harvey says, she was held as a sex slave by her cellmate at York Correctional Institution in Niantic. In the 26 years since Harvey’s assault, the landmark Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was signed into federal law. The legislation gave prisoners several avenues to report sexual misconduct; required changes to buildings for added safety, such as adding doors with windows and installing more cameras; and mandated regular audits of each facility. But people incarcerated in Connecticut say they still face sexual abuse from other prisoners and guards and that reporting the crimes isn’t always worth the consequences. “It does not work,” said Harvey, who pushed for PREA in Connecticut after her release from prison and later co-founded the advocacy agency Once Incarcerated.

College Athlete Academic Progress Rates May Not Be “Fair Or Accurate,” Sports Journalist Says

Almost all of the public universities in Virginia have at least one sport with a perfect academic progress rate among its athletes, but that may not be as impressive as it sounds. The NCAA says schools are required to report how well athletes with scholarships perform in classrooms using “a team-based metric that accounts for the eligibility and retention of each student-athlete.” But those scores may not be “a fair or accurate picture of [students’] academic progress,” Dom Amore, a sports journalist for the Hartford Courant, said. Amore, a columnist and reporter who covers the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team, said that to satisfy the NCAA, a university just needs to make sure its athletes don’t fail required classes and don’t transfer or drop out in the middle of a semester. “It’s not hard to achieve a [score of] 1,000,” Amore said. “You just have to make sure the kids go to class.”

Amore said that some schools are likely at a disadvantage for APR scores.

State Police Take Another Look At Cold Case Murders Of Patel Family

The violent murders of Champaben and Anita Patel, a mother and daughter from Windsor, have been a mystery since they happened on March 21,1996. But cold case detectives from the Connecticut State Police, with the help of the Windsor Police Department, are taking another look at the evidence now, Brian Foley, the executive aide to James Rovella, who heads the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, said. “Investigators from the State of Connecticut Cold Case unit had begun to give this case some additional attention pre-pandemic,” Foley said. “Now that things have settled [down], the case and its evidence are again being reevaluated…The reevaluation particularly relates to the exploration of possible resubmission of evidence as DNA science has evolved a great deal.”

The Patels’ homicide is one of the cold cases listed on the Connecticut State Police’s Cold Case website. Anita Patel, 32, was stabbed 14 times in her kitchen, and her body was burned due to gasoline being poured around her while Champaben Patel, 54, was strangled and her body was burned in her bedroom, according to the website.

Branson and Bezos Rides In Space: A New Era Of Innovation? Scientists Differ

Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos may be starting a new era of innovation. Now that these two billionaires have successfully gone to space, many people, politicians included, took to social media to ask why they’re not spending the money to help poor and struggling people on our planet. “It’s time to invest in working people here on Earth,” U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted. But there are scientists, like Dr. Alison Farrish, who are worried that the public’s views on the recent space journeys of billionaires will affect future opinions and budgets on space research. “My hope is that the public still sees value in scientific pursuits and the responsible exploration and study of space,” said Farrish, a native of Tolland, Connecticut who is a postdoctoral researcher in space physics at Rice University in Houston.

A Flip Of A Coin, Now He’s Editor Of His High School Newspaper

Caleb Ogilvie entered journalism by a coin flip — heads for yearbook and tails for journalism – because he was unable to make a clear decision between the two. Since joining journalism class in high school, his passion for the profession has grown and he is now editor of his school newspaper. He has expressed his joy in interviewing people and being able to write stories on particular individuals. “I enjoy seeing people’s eyes light up when they are talking about their passions,” Ogilvie said. Although he is still looking at colleges, Ogilvie does plan to continue to major in and pursue a career in journalism.

Meet The Next TV Commentator – Shimei Ricks-Cook

Introducing your favorite talk show host… Shimei Ricks-Cook. Ricks-Cook, 17, a senior at Bloomfield High School, dreams of being a talk show host or a commentator on ESPN. Ricks-Cook and his friend Kobie Washington created their own sports podcast at their school called Shimei and Kobie Unfiltered. They discuss professional sports leagues such as MLB, NBA and the NFL, Cook is the executive producer, creator and editor for the podcast.

A Volleyball Player, Matula Hopes To Compete On the College Level

Tori Matula, 17, of Milford, is a rising senior student-athlete at Joseph A. Foran High School. Matula has been on her high school girls’ volleyball team for four years and would like to play on the college level someday. Though she does not know what she wants to major in in college, she still wants to have the college experience and adventure. Matula said her mother, Candace, is her biggest role model in her life. “She has battled cancer three times,” she said.

Speaking For A Better Humanity: Smith Uses Journalism To Inspire Improvement

A miscommunication between friends has led 18-year-old Rodjae Smith to become a passionate speaker inspiring those around her to always improve in the face of adversity. The senior was once soft-spoken in middle school, but was forced into presenting two seventh-grade projects when her friends were unorganized and embarrassing her group with poor collaboration skills. Realizing it was better to boldly present a project than have it seem like the group was unprepared, Smith shed her quiet personality and used impromptu communication skills to have a successful presentation. “I think, most likely, there was a competitive side to me that liked the attention of speaking,” Smith said. Today, the high school senior from West Haven, Connecticut, has been inspired by speaking her mind to use journalism to challenge readers’ ideas by introducing them to new perspectives.