A robotic mechanism known as the da Vinci Surgical System is perhaps the hottest innovation in U.S. operating rooms. The system was used in approximately 40,000 surgeries last year, and is marketed as a device that lowers the chances of surgical errors. However, the da Vinci robot has recently been in headlines for the wrong reasons.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating an increase in reported da Vinci surgical errors. This action comes in the wake of a scandal concerning da Vinci sales reps’ push to rush uncertified doctors into the operating room with their robotic devices. This sales-boosting effort caused injuries to numerous patients when inexperienced surgeons unsuccessfully attempted to use the device during operations.
It remains to be seen whether da Vinci is an expensive fad with hospitals, or whether it will be in operating rooms for the foreseeable future. It’s clear that the manufacturer, Intuitive Surgical, will have to restructure its sales model and strictly enforce ethical guidelines.
If you or a loved one was harmed by a robotic error during an operation, contact an experienced Ohio surgical errors lawyer to explore your legal options.
Source: chron.com, “Robot Hot Among Surgeons But FDA Taking Fresh Look,” Lindsey Tanner, April 9, 2013