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Running head: FINAL PROJECT ONE1Case SummaryJean AubinSouthern New Hampshire University
FINAL PROJECT ONE2Case SummaryIn 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.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.
FINAL PROJECT ONE3Arturo 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.According to Leonard (2018),The jury found both Dr. Ricketson and HMC negligent and their negligence causedsustainable harm to Arturo. The jury “apportioned 65% of the fault to Dr. Ricketson and35% to HMC. It awarded $307,000 in special damages to Arturo's Estate, $1.7 million ingeneral damages to the Estate, and $170,000 in general damages to Rosalinda. It alsoawarded $3.4 million in punitive damages against Dr. Ricketson individually. The jurydid not apportion any of Arturo's harm to pre-existing injuries. The court determined that