Final Milestone.docx - Nicole Carruthers Medical Malpractice Final Milestone I IHP 420 Southern New Hampshire University Case Summary On the

Final Milestone.docx - Nicole Carruthers Medical...

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Nicole Carruthers Medical Malpractice Final Milestone I IHP 420 Southern New Hampshire University
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Case Summary On March 30, 2012 the Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii decided the outcome of the Iturralde vs. Hilo Medical Center , USA case. In this case Rosalinda Iturralde sued Hilo Medical Center, Medtronic Sofamor Danek USA,Inc and Robert Ricketson, M.D. for medical malpractice. Rosalinda was suing as an individual and in her capacity as a personal representative of the Estate of Arturo Iturralde. Rosalinda was suing for malpractice after the spinal surgery of Arturo Iturralde which ultimately ended in his health decline and death. The surgery was performed at Hilo Medical center in Hawaii on January 29, 2001, by Dr. Robert Ricketson, M.D. The spinal surgery required the use of Medtronic equipment (M8 Titanium CD Horizon Kit) which was to contain all necessary instrumentation and tools (specifically two titanium implant rods) for the surgery. Medtronic shipped the kit in two parts instead of one. HCM staff did not complete an inventory of the kit prior to surgery, so when the surgery was performed and it was time to implant the rods, they were nowhere to be found. Instead of holding off on the surgery or having a Medtronic rep bring titanium rods to the OR (90 min) he decided to make his own “rod” with a screwdriver in the kit. Dr Ricketson did not inform the patient he did so and gave the go ahead for the patient to start physical therapy. The patient had a subsequent fall and shattered the screwdriver in his spine because it was never meant for human implantation to begin with. On Feb 5 th , Dr. Ricketson performed another surgery on February 5, 2001, to remove the shattered screwdriver and implant the proper titanium rods. Dr. Ricketson never informed the patient of what happened and why. After discharge Arturo’s health declined and his condition steadily declined. He could no longer care for himself and required frequent catheterization. The titanium rods ultimately became dislodged and he underwent two more surgeries. At this time Mr. Iturralde was permanently catheterized and suffered from multiple
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bouts of urosepsis and was bedridden. He passed away from complications of urosepsis. In her claim Rosalinda asserted “claims of negligence, negligent credentialing, breach of warranty, and strict liability against the various defendants” (Leonard, n.d.). The jury in the firt case found Medtronic not liable for any claim and found Hilo Medical Center and Dr. Ricketson negligent. Dr. Ricketson was 65% at fault and Hilo Medical Center was 35% at fault. “ 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 Arturo's harm to pre-existing injuries” (Leonard, n.d.). The circuit court however did not agree with the jury decision and adjusted the damages to $2,000,000. The found that HMC and Dr. Ricketson were jointly and severely liable but only for
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