Surgical robots recalled due to danger posed to patients

Advancements in technology have greatly influenced the medical industry. Today, Nashville surgeons can rely on minimally invasive robots to perform more accurate surgeries while also cutting down on a patient's recovery time. However, like all machines these robots are not completely failsafe and can encounter problems that can be dangerous and even fatal to patients.

According to reports, Intuitive Surgical, the manufacturer of the da Vinci Surgical Systems, recently recalled their da Vinci Patient Side Manipulators due to the risk they may present to patients. These robots, which are controlled remotely, have been known stall. If a surgeon continues to operate the arms when they are stuck, the system may speed up to where it should be and potentially harm the patient in the process.

The FDA cautioned that since 2012 the rate of deaths and injuries related to da Vinci devices has doubled. Sources show that one surgical patient was hit in the face by a da Vinci robotic arm. Additional reports include machine hands that would not correctly open. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers the recent medical product recall of the PSMs a Class II; this means that the defects have the potential of serious injury, but more commonly create less serious health issues. Intuitive Surgical announced that the majority of the da Vinci systems inspected were operating as intended. Of the 1,386 PSMs affected, about 30 percent still remain unchecked.

Individuals who have faced health complications or who have lost a loved one to defective medical devices should consider consulting an attorney since they may be entitled to receive compensation for damages suffered.

Source: Injury Lawyer News, "Da Vinci Robot Recall Affects Nearly 1,400 Devices," Rodney Warner, Dec. 10, 2013

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