Surgeons are only human and, therefore, they can make errors during procedures. From shaky hands to fatigue, many factors can contribute to mistakes on the operating table. One solution that hospitals have been using to eliminate the risk of human error is to install robotic surgical systems such as the daVinci Robot manufactured by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Robotic arms actually perform certain procedures while controlled by a doctor from a nearby terminal. Manufacturers promote that by using their robots, incisions can be smaller, which can reduce blood loss and improve recovery time for patients. In addition, robotic arms do not shake and controlling the surgery from a computer is thought to be less stressful and tiring for surgeons. The FDA has approved the daVinci Robot for use in a variety of procedures including:
While there may be certain benefits to robotic surgery, this method is far from 100 percent safe. Despite FDA approval, many patients who underwent a procedure using the daVinci Robot have experienced serious and even life-threatening complications.
Patients have received injuries when a robotic surgical system has malfunctioned, many of which require extensive medical treatment. Some injuries that have resulted include:
These injuries can occur in many ways, including the robotic arm misses the mark instructed by the computer, the robotic hand refuses to release tissue, the surgeon must convert from robotic surgery to traditional surgery, the surgery time is extended, and more. In addition to malfunctions occurring with the daVinci system, injuries can occur if a surgeon makes a serious error in controlling the robot. In this way, robotic surgery can have similar risks of human error as traditional methods.
Patients who may require subsequent surgeries, hospitalization, medications, and other ongoing treatment due to the complications caused by robotic surgery. Some patients have even tragically died as a result of errors during a daVinci robot procedure.
Many people who undergo a surgery utilizing robotics are unaware of the potential risks and complications. Intuitive Surgical markets its daVinci Robot as superior to traditional surgeries while there is little evidence to support these claims. The manufacturer should be held responsible for the injuries and losses of any patients who suffered serious complications due to a malfunctioning of a daVinci Robot. However, like many cases involving defective medical equipment, bringing a successful claim against a large corporation can be complex.
At Zaner Harden Law in Denver, our daVinci Robot attorneys firmly believe in your right to obtain compensation from negligent manufacturers and we have the resources and skill to protect those rights against large companies. If you have been injured by any type of defective product, please call our office as soon as possible to discuss a possible case.