Spike in Surgical Robot Accident Reports Catch FDA’s Attention

Robotic surgical systems were used in 367,000 surgeries in 2012, triple the number of four years before, according to CBS News. A rising number of adverse event reports associated with the robot has caught the attention of the FDA, which is gathering information from surgeons regarding surgical errors associated with the robot.

This robotic surgical system is called da Vinci. Surgeons control the robot from a computer. The robot arms can prevent surgeon fatigue and eliminate human problems like shaky hands. But the increase in adverse events may mean the robot requires further evaluation before it is used as the new standard of performing surgeries, which could lead to medical malpractice if it’s used unnecessarily and causes injury.

Procedures commonly performed by the surgical robot include:

  • Prostate removal
  • Hysterectomy
  • Gallbladder removal
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Kidney and other organ transplants

According to CBS, adverse event reports filed over the past year or so indicate five deaths occurred during robotic surgery. The question is whether these are wrongful deaths that occurred because the robot was used unnecessarily, or if the deaths would have occurred anyway, as an unavoidable risk of surgery.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury because of medical negligence, please contact the Law Offices of Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D., to schedule a free consultation with experienced Orlando medical malpractice lawyer Michael Barszcz.