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Surgical robot device may be defective, harm patients

Technology is always advancing and in recent years, more hospitals have started to use robotic surgical devices for certain surgical procedures. One specific robotic surgical system, the da Vinci robot, has become popular in operating rooms and is actually the only device approved by the Food and Drug Administration for soft tissue surgeries including hysterectomies, organ transplants and other procedures in the U.S.

Unfortunately, reports show that the da Vinci robot may be defective and put patients at risk for injuries and surgical complications. The FDA said they have received 500 reports of complications caused by the da Vinci robot, forcing the FDA to open an investigation into to potential defective medical devices.

Reports show that roughly 41 percent of hospitals in the U.S. have used da Vinci robotic surgical devices. To investigate the potential safety issues associated with the surgical robots, the FDA is obtaining information from hospital surgeons about any complications possibly caused by the da Vinci surgical robots.

The dangers of the da Vinci robot have already lead to several lawsuits against the manufacturer of the device. Many of the product liability lawsuits claim that the device caused serious burns, tears, and other issues that resulted in chronic pain and even disability in many patients. The lawsuits allege that the da Vinci robot has design defects and that the manufacturer was negligent in testing and training surgeons to use the device.

Legal experts expect more lawsuits to be filed for injuries and even deaths caused by defective da Vinci surgical robots. Surgical patients should take these cases into consideration before they have a surgery performed by a surgical robotic device and patients who have suffered an injury or complication after having surgery with the da Vinci robotic device may be able to pursue legal action against the company.

Source: News Inferno, "Hospitals May Be Underreporting da Vinci Robotic Surgical System Incidents," May 13, 2013

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