MEDFORD, MA – An accredited hospital and at least one of its employees are in hot water this morning after intensive care security cameras caught staff members toying with a patient still under general anesthesia.
Hideki Irabu, a nurse at Medford’s Larry Memorial Hospital was formally charged today with harassment after patient Clyde Pezzotta woke to a violent tug-of-war struggle between his mouth and an unknown object.
Pezotta filed charges shortly after officially receiving word he had been the recipient of a prank many young medical professionals refer to as “fishing.”
“Fishing” involves dropping a small rubber ball (tied to the end of about five feet of rope) into the mouth of an unconscious, unknowing patient—-then fastening the opposite end of the rope to a “rod” held by a willing medical professional. The intent is for the patient to bite down or “hook” themselves, resulting in a vicious tug-of-war battle that sometimes lasts up to 3 minutes before the patient’s bite reflex eases.
Because the prank, widely considered harmless, is played solely on patients under the effects of general anesthesia, most are never aware of what occurred after awakening from their slumber.
Irabu, 34, will appear before the Board of Registration in Medicine next week where he is expected to surrender his nursing license, while hospital officials may receive fines exceeding $250,000.