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Running Head: ITURRALDE v. HILO MEDICAL CENTER USAITURRALDE v. HILO MEDICAL CENTER USAFinal Project OneRebecca BrainerdSouthern New Hampshire University
2ITURRALDE v. HILO MEDICAL CENTER USAIntroductionSummaryThe case to be presented today consists of the Plaintiff Rosalinda Iturralde and she is acting on the behalf of her brother Arturo Iturralde’s estate. Rosalinda brings suit against Hilo Medical Center, Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation, State of Hawai‘i (collectively, HMC), and Robert Ricketson, M.D., and Medtronic who supplied the kit for Arturo’s surgery. Arturo was admitted to HMC for “assessment of increasing weakness in his legs that had resulted in several falls.” (“FindLaw's Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii case and opinions,” n.d.) and Dr. Ricketson was the orthopedic surgeon whom had determined Arturo needed spinal fusion therapyfor degenerative spondylolisthesis L4-5. The surgery was scheduled 5 days later on January 29, 2001. Dr. Ricketson put in the order for the titanium rod kit for the surgery to be ordered by HMC. Medtronic received the order and sent out two different shipments to the facility. Once theshipment reached HMC, the kit was sterilized and placed in the OR. Two hours already into the surgery on Arturo, the staff informed the surgeon of the missing rods. Dr. Ricketson cut up a screwdriver that was part of the kit and inserted it in Arturo's back, in lieu of titanium rods that were designed for that purpose. The kits from Medtronic were missing theses rods upon arrival and HMC staff did not complete the proper inventory per HMC policy. Despite this discovery during the procedure, Dr. Ricketson proceeded and did not inform the patient of the complication, and the patient ultimately died on June 18th, 2003 from urosepsis complications after continue health decline prior to the corrective surgery on February 5, 2001. Arturo’s sister Rosalinda was claiming negligence by HMC and its staff and filed suit.
3ITURRALDE v. HILO MEDICAL CENTER USAMedical Malpractice ComponentLegal ComponentsThe case of Iturralde v. Hilo Medical Center very much lays out that there was a legal duty of Dr. Robert Ricketson to perform the spinal fusion surgery on Arturo Iturralde. The doctorwas negligent of this duty as a surgeon from the very beginning. There was not a proper inventory of the kit that was going to be used. Also, if there needed to be a surgical plan revision,Arturo or his next of kin should have been legally informed of it. Dr. Ricketson had a legal duty/responsibility to the patient to not perform such a medical procedure that would harm the patient and his breach of duty was the direct cause of Arturo’s injury. All ways in which Dr. Ricketson’s were negligent and therefore he is held legally responsible.