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IHP 420: Final Project I Submission: Malpractice 1IHP 420: Final Project І MalpracticeMeridith GroverSNHU04/21/2019
Final Project 1: Malpractice 2This is the case of Plaintiff, Rosalinda Iturralde in representation of the estate her brother,Arturo Iturralde. Rosalinda Iturralde has sued Hilo Medical Center and Robert Ricketson, M.D. over the death of her brother. Dr. Ricketson operated on Arturo Iturralde on January 29th, 2001. Dr. Ricketson was supposed to insert surgically two titanium rods into Arturo’s spine. The Hilo Medical Center (HMC) did not inspect the kit, which arrived in two separate shipments, as it should have. If they had, they would have noticed that the rods were missing from the shipment. When Dr. Ricketson performed the surgery, he did not notice there were no rods until he had already opened Arturo up, even though he had been informed that there had been no inspection done. Instead of medically safe titanium, Dr. Ricketson inserted the shaft of a surgical screwdriver. After the screwdriver shaft shattered, and more surgeries were performed, Arturo’s health declined, and he died from complications in June of 2003.There were a few things that went wrong from a legal point of view. The major component being the Dr. Ricketson did not implant the correct pieces of equipment into Arturo’s spine. “The screwdriver shaft was not intended or approved for human implantation” (Iturralde v.Hilo Medical Center USA, 2012). Surgical screw drivers were not meant to be implanted into a body. These rods were designed especially for this kind of surgery. “To keep the bones in position, implanted hardware must be strong enough to handle the loads” (Mraz, 2006). When the surgical screwdriver was implanted, it was not designed to handle the weight of being in Arturo’s spine. It later shattered after Arturo fell. Let us back up and look at the procedures in place to prevent something like this from happening. When the kits arrived at the hospital they were sterilized, but not inspected. There were policies in place that stated that these kits must be inspected prior to the surgery. Dr. Ricketson was informed of this. “Before Dr. Ricketson commenced the surgery, nurse Vicki
Final Project 1: Malpractice 3Barry advised him that an inventory of the Kit had not been completed” (Iturralde v. Hilo Medical Center USA, 2012). When he was informed of this, Dr. Ricketson and his team should have performed a surgical safety checklist. This would have prevented surgery going too far to correct.“Professional misconduct or demonstration of an unreasonable lack of skill with the result of injury, loss, or damage to the patient is considered malpractice” (Fremgen, 2016). By inserting the shaft of the medical screwdriver into Arturo’s spine, Dr. Ricketson opened himself up to malpractice. He could have prevented any of this from happening if he had only checked tokits to make sure everything was there prior to operating on Arturo. HMC also is being held