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Another da Vinci Surgical Robot Analysis Spotlights Increases in Deaths, Adverse Events

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When the da Vinci Surgical System robot was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in 2000, it was hailed as one of the medical breakthroughs of the 21st Century. The machine’s manufacturer, Intuitive Surgical, told the public that robotic surgery meant shorter recovery times and fewer adverse events.

For a growing number of patients, robotic surgery has proven to be anything but a step up from alternative surgical methods. There are stories of patients bleeding profusely from robots nicking blood vessels; as well, common injuries include burns, punctures, and tears. Injuries cased by the da Vinci have become so common and serious that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a statement saying that “robotic surgery is not the only or the best minimally invasive approach to hysterectomy…nor is it the most cost-effective,” according to the Wall Street Journal (WJS).

According to a draft analysis of these reports by physicians at Rush University Medical Center, the University of Illinois and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, reports of injuries and deaths associated with the robots have sharply increased. There were about 50 reports per 100,000 procedures last year compared to only 13.3 reports in 2004, according to the WSJ.

The da Vinci robots are also pricey. The robot itself costs over $1 million. Robotic surgeries also cost more than traditional ones. A study published last year by surgeons at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston showed average total patient costs for different types of hysterectomies. Among the highlights: $49,526 was the price for a robotic procedure compared to $28,312 for a laparoscopic one, WSJ reported.

Intuitive Surgical is currently a Defendant in about 50 lawsuits alleging product liability, according to WSJ. disclaimer: This article: Another da Vinci Surgical Robot Analysis Spotlights Increases in Deaths, Adverse Events was posted on Monday, November 18th, 2013 at 9:14 pm at and is filed under Medical Device Lawsuits, Medical Malpractice Lawsuits, Other Lawsuits, Personal Injury Lawsuits.

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