Injured BY Da Vinci Robot Surgical System Procedures? Call the Hagood Law Firm Today!
- December 12, 2014
- Jared Hagood
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INJURED BY Da VINCI ROBOT SURGICAL SYSTEM PROCEDURES? CALL THE HAGOOD LAW FIRM TODAY!
Hundreds upon thousands of patients have suffered serious permanent injuries arising from procedures where the da Vinci surgical robot is utilized. The purpose of this article is to provide basic information to the general public regarding the da Vinci robot, make people aware of the various operations the robot is used in, and the types of errors committed during these operations to those whose friends, families, and loved ones have suffered injuries or conditions from an operation involving the da Vinci Surgical System.
WHAT IS THE DA VINCI SURGICAL SYSTEM?
The da Vinci Surgical System, manufactured by Intuitive Surgical, is a medical robot used in various surgeries. In 2000, the system was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and was invented to execute minimally-invasive surgeries. While in use, the system is actually controlled by a surgeon from a separate console. The system consists of a separate console and a patient-side cart with four remote-controlled robotic arms regulated by the surgeon. The preeminent feature of the surgical robot is that its range can exceed the range of motion of the human hand. Three of those four robotic arms can actually hold objects like scalpels, scissors, and other surgical items. There must always be a human operator present when the da Vinci Surgical System is in use.
The da Vinci system was also designed to be an alternative surgical method to normal laparoscopic surgery. In a conventional laparoscopic surgical procedure, the surgeon operates in a standing position, and uses long instruments that have no wrists. The laparoscopic surgeon must be aided by an assistant and must constantly look at a video monitor to view the surgery area and organs.
The da Vinci system, however, allows the surgeon to operate from a seated position at the console, using joysticks and foot pedals to move the robotic arms and the camera. With its jointed wrist-like design, the da Vinci robot reduces human hand tremors, and simplifies the surgeon’s hand movements. The system also has a three-dimensional screen that allows the surgeon to view the operative area with clear high resolution.
WHY ARE PATIENTS AND DOCTORS TURNING TO ROBOTIC SURGERY?
The da Vinci Surgical System has been promoted as a method to use that results in less pain and complications stemming from surgery, and a better recovery. Additionally, the manufacturers of the da Vinci Surgical System claim that use of the system will lessen the need for blood transfusions, as there will be less blood loss in surgeries. Currently, over 2100 da Vinci robots are being used in hospitals throughout the United States.
WHAT TYPES OF SURGERIES ARE ADMINISTERED BY THE Da VINCI SYSTEM?
The da Vinci surgical robot has been used in gynecological, non-cardio theracoscopic, and urologic surgeries.
Specifically, da Vinci robots have been used in the following surgeries:
Complete or partial hysterectomies
Throat and kidney cancers
Heavy intrauterine bleeding
Prostrate removal procedures
Treatment of uterine fibroids
Gall bladder removals
GROWING CONCERNS OVER THE USE OF Da VINCI SURGICAL SYSTEMS
Even though it is a technically-advanced system, there are still no studies to prove that the da Vinci robot system is better, safer, or more effective than the traditional laparoscopic surgeries.
There are growing concerns that da Vinci robot surgeries are actually more expensive, take longer, and overall, recovery times have not proven to be shorter than those of similar procedures. If the surgeries take longer, that means the patient could also be anesthetized longer.
In addition to these concerns, patients are wondering if the long-term benefits and risks of the da Vinci robot are still being evaluated, are there repeated surgical mistakes and malfunctions, and are surgeons being properly trained to use the system?
POTENTIAL INJURIES STEMMING FROM Da VINCI SURGICAL SYSTEMS
There are several potential injuries stemming from the da Vinci robot surgeries including, but, not limited to the following:
Infection or sepsis
Internal bleeding, hematomas
Tears to arteries
Punctured blood vessels and organs
Burns and tears of the intestines
Severe bowel injuries
Additional required surgical procedures after robot surgery
Surgical burns to arteries and organs
U.S. LAWSUITS AGAINST THE DA VINCI MANUFACTURER
There have been an increasing number of complaints and claims on behalf of patients who have undergone surgeries associated with the use of the da Vinci robot. Many patients have alleged that they have been burned, experienced damage of healthy organs and tissue, and that the manufacturer actually failed to warn healthcare professionals and potential patients of the risks associated with its use. In addition, lawsuits have been filed for patients who had robot parts left inside of them after surgeries, excessive bleeding side-effects, internal burns, injury of organs not related to the surgery, and tearing of intestines during surgery. There are also a number of filed lawsuits alleging that design flaws in the da Vinci Surgical system led to unexpected injuries.
Dr. Marty Makary, a general surgeon and Director of Surgical Quality at John Hopkins stated the following:
“Out of all the instruments and surgical tools that hospitals have adopted, this is one of the most expensive items in American operating rooms today. It’s a symbol of what’s wrong with American health care: the widespread adoption of expensive new technology with little evidence to support its use-all within the context of a poorly informed, even misinformed public.”
U.S. LAWSUITS AGAINST SURGEONS USING THE DA VINCI ROBOT
As stated above, there have been an increasing number of complaints on behalf of patients who have undergone surgeries associated with the use of the da Vinci robot. Some of those complaints arise out of operator error committed by the health care provider, surgeon, physician, and/or the surgical team’s neglectful operation of the da Vinci robot.
The da Vinci robot is a complex surgical instrument and/or robot. The da Vinci robot is large and has many controls, options, tools, and mechanical arms, that, if not properly trained, health care providers, physicians, and surgeon can commit operator error that can cause serious injuries to the patient. For these reasons, national and Texas hospitals that have and/or are currently utilizing the da Vinci robot system require health care providers and surgeons to undergo strict training to learn how to efficiently and safely use the da Vinci robot. Despite going through hours of training (if adequate training actually occurs), health care providers and physicians can negligently operate the da Vinci robot during operations. Most national and Texas hospitals have da Vinci robot representatives on call, on stand by, or present during the operation in the event the surgeon, health care provider, or physician commits operator error. Unfortunately, the surgeon may not notify the da Vinci representative of operator error until it is too late.
Hospitals, health care providers, and physicians have a duty to ensure they and/or all staff using the da Vinci robot are properly and adequately trained to use this complex surgical device. Hospitals likewise should have and enforce effective policies and procedures to ensure adequate training is achieved prior to any surgeon utilizing the da Vinci robot in any operation. Despite these best practices, hospitals are permitting untrained surgeons or surgeons with minimal training to utilize the da Vinci robot in operations. Unfortunately, this negligent practice can cause serious permanent injuries to the patient.
HAVE YOU OR A LOVED ONE EXPERIENCED INJURY FROM A ROBOT SURGERY?
Medical malpractice and products liability are complex and difficult areas of law. The law places strict procedural requirements, along with case law requirements and interpretations, which govern these lawsuits. Moreover, the practice of medicine and medical conditions, injuries, and damages is complex in and of itself. If you or a family member feel strongly that you have a viable medical malpractice or products liability claim, stemming from a da Vinci robot surgery, you need an attorney with superior knowledge and experience in the medical malpractice and products liability litigation field. We invite you to contact The Hagood Law Firm for a free consultation. The Hagood Law Firm is here to serve you. We take on the most powerful defendants and aggressively and effectively fight for you and your loved ones. Your expectations should be to have the best representation and that is what we vow to deliver. Here at The Hagood Law Firm, we have the knowledge and experience you need, and we are committed to providing quality representation. Please contact our office today for assistance with your medical malpractice claim: 214-706-0835 or via email at [email protected].