We normally applaud inventive and quick-thinking physicians, but not in this case: A surgeon implanted a screwdriver shaft into a patient’s spine, when the titanium implants weren’t immediately available.
Granted, if the patient had done well, and if the surgeon wasn’t a drug-addicted menace, we might have formed a different opinion:
The doctor says critical titanium rods were missing from the O.R.. Precious time was slipping away, and he says he had to improvise to save the man’s life. Now the doctor’s actions are being examined by a jury.
The segment of screwdriver snapped in two just a few days after it was inserted. Despite three corrective surgeries, Arturo Iturralde, a Baptist minister, was rendered a bedridden paraplegic.
…Dr. Ricketson’s medical license had previously been suspended in Oklahoma and revoked in Texas, following a string of malpractice lawsuits and treatment for a narcotics addiction.
He had even admitted to writing fake prescriptions to get drugs. Despite all this he was still allowed to perform surgery in Hawaii.
The prosecution may have a case here.