Thursday, September 21, 2023
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Fired Hospital Worker Cites Filthy Conditions

PHOENIX (CN) - A surgical technician claims Banner Thunderbird Medical Center fired her after she complained about filthy operating rooms, and a registered nurse who defecated during a Caesarean section but "continued to work with fecal matter pouring down her legs and onto the floor." Susan Gipson claims the "unsafe and unhealthy conditions" caused the deaths of two patients this year.

Gipson says she complained to supervisors about Elizabeth Ricca, a registered nurse who supervised her. In her complaint in Maricopa County Court, Gipson say Ricca once "continued to work with fecal matter pouring down her legs and onto the floor, while in an operating room containing a woman in the midst of having a Caesarean operation with her uterus and other organs fully exposed."

Gipson claims Ricca wore contaminated scrubs, hid surgical instruments while Gipson was trying to make sure they were accounted for and used her "bare hands to evacuate blood clots directly out of patients' bodies."

Gipson says she complained to supervisors about multiple holes operating room walls that let insects and dust into the room, rust on surgical instruments, air vents covered in "mold, dust, rust, dirt, and even blood," expired medications that weren't discarded, unsecured medications and needles, and "blood and amniotic fluid" strewn around operating rooms.

She claims that "the unsafe and unhealthy conditions reported by Gipson caused, in whole or in part, the deaths of two female Banner patients in 2009."

Gipson says that as a surgical technician she is responsible for setting up the operating room for surgery and cleaning the equipment and instruments. She says that after she complained of the filthy conditions, she was demoted to a secretarial position and then fired.

She seeks punitive damages. She is represented by Kissandra Tysman of Mesa.

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