CT Med Board reprimands Waterbury obstetrician, disciplines two other docs

The state Medical Examining Board disciplined three doctors this week, including reprimanding a Waterbury obstetrician for failing to perform a timely Caesarean section in a case in which the infant died.

Dr. John Kaczmarek also failed to assess the infant’s category III fetal heart monitors results on Aug. 10, 2014 at Waterbury Hospital, a consent order he signed with the board states. Category III results are considered abnormal and may indicate that the fetus is at risk of being deprived of oxygen. Kaczmarek also did not appropriately document his evaluation of the monitor results or his plan of care, the order said.

The consent order does not detail what happened to the baby, but Christopher Stan, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Health, said Thursday that despite resuscitation efforts and a transfer to Yale New Haven Hospital, the baby died a day after delivery.

By signing the order, Kaczmarek chose not to contest the allegations and admitted no wrongdoing, the order said. The investigation into Kaczmarek began in 2015 after the hospital submitted a corrective action plan to DPH in response to the incident.

The board also placed the medical license of Dr. Mark Melendez, a Shelton plastic surgeon, on probation for six months and ordered him to take a course in medical documentation. In 2014, Melendez failed to adequately document an assessment of risks with a patient who was undergoing breast reconstruction, the board’s memorandum of decision states. The patient had greater risks for complications because of her obesity, records show, and the patient had complained to DPH about Melendez’s care of her.

Melendez’s lawyer, Michael Neubert of New Haven, had asked the board to reconsider its decision, but David Tilles, a DPH staff attorney, objected and asked the board to approve its memorandum, which it did.

The board also reprimanded Dr. Joseph Guarnaccia of New Haven, a neurologist who practices at the Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Center at Griffin Hospital in Derby, in connection with discipline imposed on him in Rhode Island in September.

Connecticut records show that Guarnaccia was reprimanded and ordered to take coursework in proper prescribing by Rhode Island officials because in 2016, he deviated from professional standards in prescribing controlled substances for a patient with chronic pain.

The patient was being treated for multiple sclerosis and other ailments by Guarnaccia at the MS Center of Care New England in East Greenwich, Rhode Island when she was inadvertently given duplicate prescriptions for oxycodone and Adderall, records from the Rhode Island Department of Health show.

Guarnaccia did not contest the allegations against him, according to a consent order he signed with the Connecticut board. State law allows the Connecticut board to discipline doctors who hold medical licenses in the state if they have been disciplined in other states.

Kate Farrish is a Conn. Health I-Team writer. This story was reported under a partnership with the Connecticut Health I-Team (c-hit.org).