The use of robotic surgery has increased dramatically in recent years and with it reports of injuries and deaths caused by the modern medical devices.
Thousands of injuries involving surgical robots – including internal burns, organ punctures, nerve damage, and tears of arteries and intestines — were reported to the FDA between 2000 and 2012, including 71 deaths. And many or most injuries are never reported.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious or fatal injury as a result of robotic surgery, you should contact a robotic surgery attorney for a free and confidential evaluation of your case. Kline & Specter, PC, with more than 40 attorneys, several of whom are also highly regarded doctors, has the experience and expertise to handle robotic surgery lawsuits. Please call us at 800-243-1100 for a free case evaluation.
The surgical robots are called the da Vinci system, or da Vinci robots, and are made by Intuitive Surgical Inc. About 1,400 of the medical devices, which cost between $1.5 million and $2.5 million, are currently being used in hospitals across the United States, according to an article in The New York Times. Bloomberg News noted that reports of injuries related to robotic surgeries doubled over the first eight months of 2013 alone.
A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University documented instances in which aggressive tactics were used to market the robotic devices and pressure put on doctors and hospitals to use them. Another study found that more than half of surgeons surveyed anonymously said they had experienced malfunctions while using robots.
Women are most likely to suffer severe injuries in robotic surgery, with almost one-third of all fatalities reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration having occurred during gynecological procedures and 43 percent of all injuries associated with hysterectomies. The robots are also commonly used in gall bladder removals, heart valve operations, prostate cancer treatment and a range of soft tissue surgeries.
Lawsuits have abounded in recent years over robotic devices used in surgery, with claims arising over physicians who were not sufficiently trained to use the devices and design flaws such as un-insulated surgical arms and electrical current that jumped and damaged healthy organs or tissue.
Freak incidents have also been reported. In one case, a robotic hand would not let go of tissue it had grasped during a surgical procedure, while in another a patient was struck in the face while on the operating table.
Based in Philadelphia, Kline & Specter litigates medical device and medical malpractice cases in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and nationwide.
Contact a robot surgery injury lawyer today at 800-243-1100 or email us.