Da Vinci Surgical Robot Injury Lawyers Orange County California
There are thousands of surgeries performed on a daily basis in Orange County, California. Most surgical procedures are performed correctly with no issues such as equipment malfunctions, surgical malpractice or injury to the patient. However, recently there have been many medical malpractice lawsuits filed due to Da Vinci Surgical Robot injuries. There has been a surge in the number of complaints of complications from this medical device. Common injuries seen with the Da Vinci robot are burns, punctured vessels or organs, excessive bleeding and wrongful deaths. In response to the rise in complaints and concern over the safety of its use, the FDA has launched an investigation to determine whether the products manufacturer, Intuitive Surgical, Inc. is responsible for the allegations in the complaints.
Da Vinci Robot Surgical Injuries
Intuitive warned hospitals in May, 2013 that the culprit in Da Vinci Surgical Robot injuries was a component used in its Da Vinci surgical robot system may be putting patients at risk for burn injuries. The component are the robot’s surgical scissors termed Hot Shears. These scissors are used to cut and coagulate abdominal tissue during various surgeries. According to the company’s urgent notification, some versions of the system’s Hot Shears may be prone to small cracks, potentially creating a pathway for an electro-surgical charge. Unfortunately, the cracks may not be visible. The company has already received one report of injury linked to a cracked instrument. Despite the risk, the company has elected not to recall the Hot Shears and announced that it would begin to remove the affected instruments from hospitals when a replacement becomes available. It is estimated that this will begin between two to four weeks from the date of the company’s notification.
Uses of the Da Vinci Surgical Robot
The Da Vinci surgical robot, manufactured by Intuitive Surgery, is an alternative surgical method to laparoscopic procedures and has increasingly gained popularity with hospitals since its FDA approval in 2000. The robot is designed to perform minimally invasive surgery in procedures including urologic, laparoscopic, gynecological and non-cardio theracoscopic surgical procedures.
Some examples in which the robot has been chosen over its alternative procedure, laparoscopic surgery, include:
-Hysterectomies (both complete & partial)
-Uterine fibroid treatment
-Prostatectomies (Prostate removal surgery)
It is often chosen by hospitals and doctors over laparoscopic surgery due to Intuitive’s claims that the procedure is as safe as laparoscopic surgery, yet reduces recovery time in patients.
There have been no conclusive studies showing the Da Vinci robot is a better or safer choice for doctors performing minimally invasive procedures—in fact, there are many signs that indicate its negative attributes outweigh its benefits. Costs of the robot significantly outweigh those of laproscopic surgeries, surgery takes longer, and recovery times have not been proven to be substantially shorter than other similar procedures. In addition, there is no concrete data reiterating that the robot is a safer or better choice than other minimally invasive procedures. In the legal community it is felt that a lack of testing prior to distribution is the culprit for many of the complications which have arisen. Due to this sentiment, and the accompanying injuries resulting from use of the device, there has been a significant increase in medical malpractice and defective product lawsuits recently.
Allegations and Complaints Against Da Vinci Robot
Despite the popularity of the Da Vinci surgical robot, the number of complaints concerning complications stemming from the use of the device have been on the rise recently. Complaints against the manufacturer allege design flaws in the device. These allegations can include un-insulated surgical arms that cause burns, as well as electrical currents that can deviate from the intended surgical route to healthy organs and tissue, damaging them in the process. In addition, the complaint alleged the manufacturer of failing to warn healthcare professionals and potential patients of the risks that can be involved in its use.
Most Da Vinci robot lawsuits are due to complications or surgical errors that include, but are not limited to, burns, broken, lacerated or punctured blood vessels, uterus lacerations, tearing of the intestines, internal hemorrhaging and death.
Complications and serious injuries resulting from the use of the DaVinci surgical robot are not always evident immediately after the procedure is completed. They can sometimes take days to manifest and this uses up valuable time which could be used to treat the injury. This can delay treatment and in some instances, result in wrongful death. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the use of the DaVinci Surgical Robot in Orange County, California please call the OC Personal Injury Lawyers at Nokes & Nokes to discuss your case. According to California medical malpractice law you may be entitled to benefits and financial compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, medical expenses and missed time at work.
Manufacturers Response to DaVinci Lawsuits
In an effort to mitigate the situation and do some damage control, Intuitive, sent replacement tip covers to every hospital across the country with the device. The original tips were not deemed defective, but the manufacturer requested the switch from the existing tips immediately to reduce the chance of sparking. However, surgeons who have observed the use of the device do not believe the tip of the robot to be a problem. Instead, their observations lead them to believe the burns stems from the scissor blade. Intuitive has maintained their position that the DaVinci device is no more dangerous than conventional laparoscopic devices. According to Intuitive these devices can result in similar issues during surgery.
Contact a personal injury lawyer handling DaVinci Surgical Robot Injuries. We serve all of Orange County including Fullerton, Anaheim, Irvine, Newport Beach and Aliso Viejo. Call Nokes & Nokes at (949) 716-7200 to arrange a free initial consultation.
The Orange County Medical Malpractice Attorneys at Nokes & Nokes handle accident and injury claims on a contingency fee basis meaning they charge no fee unless they recover for you.