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Final Project I - MalpracticeIturralde vs. Hilo Medical Center Southern New Hampshire UniversityGayatri Patel07 – 26 – 18
Final Project I – Malpractice Case 2In the year 2001, a patient named Arturo Iturralde had been diagnosed with degenerative spondylolisthesis L4 – 5 with stenosis, a condition that forces pressure on the nerves in the spinalcord. The condition can be resolved through spinal fusion surgery. This can be done by implanting two rods into the spine to form a bilateral fixation. Arturo received his diagnoses by Dr. Robert Ricketson, and orthopedic surgeon, at Hilo Medical Center (HMC) in Hawaii.For the procedure, Dr. Ricketson had directed HMC to order an M8 Titanium CD Horizon kit from Medtronic, which includes all the necessary tools and instruments to do the procedure. The important part of the procedure was two titanium implant rods. These rods are needed to form a bilateral fixation. The tools and instruments arrived at the HMC facility on timefor the surgery. Per HMC policy, the nurse is supposed to evaluate each instruments and tools, including the sterilizing process for them. However, the evaluation nurse, Vicki Barry, noticed the two titanium rods were missing. Thus, before the surgery, she informed Dr. Ricketson of missing crucial components of the surgery. As a result, Dr. Ricketson had proceeded with the surgery. During the two-hour procedure, the staff could not locate the two titanium rods. Following the allocation of rods, Dr. Ricketson made a crucial decision that was too risky to delay the procedure, due to excessive blood loss. Hence, Dr. Ricketson went on with the procedure without titanium rods. Instead of titanium rods, he used the shaft from the stainless-steel screwdriver, which is not an approved tool to be used in any surgical procedure. Following the surgery, HMC staff nor the doctor had informed the patient or the patient’s family about the screwdriver shaft being implanted in the patient’s spine. After the surgery, Dr. Ricketson had written the order for the postoperative physical therapy for Arturo.
Final Project I – Malpractice Case 3Following surgery, Arturo had a few falls. During one of the falls, the screwdriver shaft shattered. Due to this, Arturo had to undergo another surgery to remove the shaft and replaced with the proper titanium rods. During both surgeries, nurse Janelle Feldmeyer was present and aware of the situation. She immediately reported the incident and claimed she could not translate to the patient, due to his lack of understanding of English. After being discharged from the hospital, Arturo started declining in his personal care, which made him completely bedridden; two years later, he passed away in 2003. Dr. Ricketson had moral rights and a moral duty to operate on Arturo without, causing any harm. Instead he violated the Hippocratic Oath, which prompts the importance of their profession, the need to teach others, and the obligation to never knowingly harm a patient or divulge a confidence (Fremgen, 2016). He should not have operated on the patient without