Prescription for Conflict


Matthew Richter, a teenage boy with cerebral palsy (CP), severe developmental delay (DD) and who is non-verbal, was admitted to the hospital for scheduled surgery to correct the contracture in his legs. It was a long surgery and he was provided with both an epidural and a narcotic to manage the pain. Matthew’s dad came to stay with his son, post-surgery that evening. As the night shift started, his dad became irritated and upset that Matthew was being bothered constantly and that he “was not allowed to sleep” so much so that he did not allow Kathy, the registered nurse (RN), in to do what she needed to, even when it was medically and absolutely necessary. Matthew’s dad contacted the orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Adela Zyfi, to let her know what was going on. She agreed with Matthew’s Dad that there have been too many interruptions to Matthew’s sleep, that would cause further stress. Social workers (SW), Katie, Angelica, and Samantha, have been brought in to assess and review this situation from a variety of viewpoints. Human Resources (HR) has also been called upon to investigate the breach of hospital policy and the allegation of patient negligence.