Running head: MILESTONE ONE1Milestone OneJean AubinSouthern New Hampshire University
MILESTONE ONE3Milestone OneIn the case of Iturralde v. Hilo Medical Center USA, the plaintiff is Rosalinda Iturralde who was acting as personal representative of Arturo Iturralde’s estate. The defendants include: Dr. Robert Ricketson, Hilo Medical Center USA (HMC), and Medtronic Sofamor Danek USA. Rosalinda Iturralde is Arturo’s younger sister and caregiver and sued on behalf of Arturo Iturralde because of his passing.According to Arturo Iturralde (Arturo) had increasing weakness in his legs that had resulted in several falls. On January 24th, 2001, Dr. Ricketson diagnosed Arturo with degenerative spondylolisthesis and scheduled Arturo for spinal fusion surgery on January 29, 2001. This surgery involves bilateral fixation of the spine with two implanted rods. Dr. Ricketson instructed the medical center to order a M8 Titanium CD Horizon Kit from Medtronic.The kit came in two pieces on January 27, 2001 at 7:30 pm, hospital staff failed to inventory the kit per hospital policy. It was sterilized and sent to the operating room. Before starting the procedure, Dr. Ricketson was informed by Nurse Vicki that the kit had not been inventoried. However, he then chose to continue with the procedure. After removing sections of Arturo’s vertebrae, Dr. Ricketson was informed that both rods were missing from the kit. After a thorough search staff could not find the rods. Staff then calledMedtronic the kit supplier. The Medtronic representative was unclear if the original rods were shipped but offered to deliver two replacement rods within 90 minutes. Dr. Ricketson declined Medtronics offer of delivery in 90 minutes thinking that time was too risky, inserted the shaft of a screwdriver to create an improvised unilateral rod. The screwdriver shaft was not intended or approved for human implantation. Dr. Ricketson did not inform the patient of a screwdriver shaftbeing used instead of bilateral rods.
MILESTONE ONE4Arturo sustained many falls which caused the makeshift shaft to shatter. He had to go through additional surgery on February 5, 2001 to remove the shattered pieces and implant the proper titanium rod. Arturo condition steadily worsened, the titanium rods eventually became dislodged and Arturo underwent two further revision surgeries. After the final surgery, his physical condition continued to decline. He underwent permanent catheterization and suffered from multiple bouts of urosepsis. He became completely bedridden and ultimately passed away on June 18, 2003, from complications of urosepsis.The jury found both Dr. Ricketson and HMC negligent and their negligence caused sustainable harm to Arturo. The jury “apportioned 65% of the fault to Dr. Ricketson and 35% to HMC. It awarded $307,000 in special damages to Arturo's Estate, $1.7 million in general damages to the Estate, and $170,000 in general damages to Rosalinda. It also awarded $3.4 million in punitive damages against Dr. Ricketson individually. The jury did not apportion any of
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- Fall '18
- Tort Law, Arturo, Dr. Robert Ricketson