Da Vinci Robot: The Pitfalls of Potentially Dangerous Surgical Devices

Sep 03

The Da Vinci Robot is a multi-armed surgical machine used for minimally invasive procedures. It was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA back in the year 2000 and was subsequently greeted by the medical community with much enthusiasm and fanfare. With this device, surgeons can operate on patients through a small incision and a 3D imaging screen that magnifies the site. They can effective control the robot from a distance. The robot—which is easily operated by the surgeon with controls similar to a joystick—ensures that the procedure is contained within one area, which effectively reduces the risk of infection. Despite these advantages, complications and adverse effects reportedly caused by the Da Vinci Robot have allowed the positive reception to turn a bit more skeptical.

Several lawsuits point to the fact that the Da Vinci Robot played a key role in several cases of serious injury. The latest among these lawsuits was filed on March 2012 by a man in New York claiming that the surgical device had been behind the death of his 24-year-old daughter. As delineated in the suit, the daughter had been scheduled for a routine hysterectomy around August of 2010.

The surgeon in charge of her care made use of a Da Vinci Robot that caused fatal burns and punctures in crucial areas of her intestine. Other injuries have also been caused by the surgical robot. One patient died after a routine spleen surgery, while another died in a hysterectomy because of a blood vessel nicked by one of the robot’s arms. The Da Vinci Robot was also found to have caused a puncture in a patient’s colon during a prostatectomy, while another patient reports being hit in the face accidentally be one of the robot’s arms. The surgical device is also reported to be vulnerable to mechanical failure, further exacerbating any risks involved with its use.

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