The surgeon’s hand has been a long-lasting symbol of precision. Now there is a new competitor to the surgical field, pulled straight from science fiction novels. Robotic surgery is the new ground-breaking trend intended and designed to remove all human error. But just like any other technological invention, this innovation is not perfect and major lawsuits have developed as a result of these seemingly error-free machines.
The Da Vinci Surgical Robot, made by Intuitive Surgical, was approved for use by the FDA in 2000. The system can be found in several thousand hospitals throughout the world, and in 2012 was responsible for 200,000 surgical procedures. This year, however, more and more problems and lawsuits seem to be mounting against the system, with the FDA even launching their own investigation as a result of several deaths.
Burns are the most often suffered non-fatal injury as a result of robot assisted surgery. Aside from burns, damage as a result of heat to vital organs and arteries is quite common. Other complaints have alleged lacerations, nerve injuries, tears, and sepsis. Any individual who has suffered medical ailments in the aftermath of robotic surgery should contact an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney.
This year, Time magazine reported on the series of strange accidents stemming from robotic surgeries. This report included one incident with the patient being struck in the face by a robotic arm.
Injuries suffered during robotic surgery can ultimately end up being as serious as death. In 2007, an Illinois man had his splenectomy performed by the Da Vinci system. The operating surgeon — or, in this case, the surgeon operating the Da Vinci system — had never performed a procedure using the system on a living patient. During the procedure, the robotic arm punctured the man’s intestines and, as a result, the man died. In 2012, the family of the victim received a $7.5 million award for their wrongful death suit.
The potential for error in these operations runs deep. A Washington wrongful death suit involving a man who had died of heart failure four years after a Da Vinci operation, having suffered complications allegedly from the operation, revealed a dark source of Da Vinci’s problems. During the litigation of the case, the Intuitive Surgical Director of Marketing testified that internal marketing material identified and targeted surgeons who were seen as lacking certain surgical skills and having a history of only performing minimally invasive procedures. The plaintiff’s attorneys further alleged that the sales reps for Intuitive Surgical encouraged hospitals to lower the standards on which doctors may operate the system, and even used operation schedules to identify surgeries which could be done by the system in place of the skilled surgeon.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at the Indianapolis Law Firm of Parr Richey Obremskey Frandsen & Patterson are committed to providing exceptional insight and knowledgeable advocacy on behalf of those seeking justice for their injuries. With years of experience in the field of medical malpractice, our lawyers will be your first through your last step in getting the award you deserve for your suffering. Whether the claim involves a human surgeon, medical malpractice committed by hospital staff, robotic error, negligence, recklessness, or a products liability claim, we will be on your side. If you or a loved one is suffering as a result of a medical procedure, please contact us for a free confidential consultation. Call (888) 532-7766 or contact us online.
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