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Running head: FINAL PROJECT IFinal Project I: Malpractice CaseSouthern New Hampshire UniversityOctober 17, 20181
FINAL PROJECT IIntroductionIn the case of Iturralde v. Hilo Medical Center (HMC), USA., describes a situation where the decedent Arturo Iturralde was admitted to HMC in January of 2001 for increasing leg pain and weakness which had resulted in several falls. On January 24th, orthopedic surgeon Robert Ricketson, M.D. examined Arturo and diagnosed him with degenerative spondylolisthesis L4-L5 and scheduled him for spinal fusion surgery at HMC. Dr. Ricketson ordered the hardware kit to include all instrumentation and tools needed to perform the surgery from Medtronic (FindLaw.com, 2012). Medtronic did not have the instrumentation portion of the kit in stock at their facility in Memphis so they sent the order to HMC in two shipments, one from Memphis and the other from Tulane. Both shipments were received on the same day at HMC. Per HMC policy, a complete inventory of the contents in the kit are to be completed prior to surgery. The inventory of the kit failed to be conducted by HMC staff. Nurse Vicki Barry informed Dr. Ricketson that the inventory of the kit was not completed. However, Dr. Ricketson decided to proceed with the surgery without the contents of the kit being inventoried. During the surgery, it was discovered that both titanium rods were not available. Staff contacted the sales rep from Medtronic and the soonest they could deliver implant rods were ninety minutes. Dr. Ricketson felt the delay was too risky and decided to proceed with the surgery without the rods. He then created a rod from the stainless-steel screwdriver shaft and implanted it into Arturo’s spine, creating an improvised unilateral rod. The patient was never informed the incident that occurred and was ordered physical therapy post-operatively, along with walking. The following day, Arturo sustained a fall(s) and the screwdriver shaft shattered in his back. Dr. Ricketson operated again on the patient and removed the shattered pieces and added the proper titanium rods in place. The nurse who had been present in the initial surgery was aware that the doctor did not
FINAL PROJECT Iinform the patient of what had happened so she tried to inform the patient but the patient did not speak English. The nurse obtained the shattered screwdriver shaft and delivered it to an attorney’s office and then called the patient’s sister and caretaker, Rosalinda, to inform her of what occurred. Rosalinda informed her brother of the incident. After Arturo was discharged his condition continued to worsen. He was unable to care for himself, and required assistance with personal care and catherization, along with great pain and ultimately, he became depressed.