The medical device lawyers at Bernheim Kelley Dolinsky are currently investigating claims of victims who suffered injury or the loss of a loved one due to faults of the Da Vinci Surgical Robot System. The device is made and marketed by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. and is used in a number of laparoscopic surgery procedures. Unfortunately, many patients have been harmed or killed during or after surgery with the da Vinci System.
If you have experienced hardships at the hands of the Da Vinci system, you should absolutely consider speaking with an attorney.
Da Vinci Surgery Injuries
The most common injuries reported from the Da Vinci Surgical System are tears and burns affecting blood vessels, intestines, and reproductive organs. In many cases, it is believed that these injuries may be attributed to one or both of the following factors:
- Design Defects: It has been argued that the non-insulated arms of the Da Vinci system can burn surrounding tissues, and that electrical currents from the device can also cause severe burns to healthy tissues and organs.
- Surgeon’s Error: Only two days of formal training are offered when a hospital purchases a Da Vinci System, while experienced surgeons state that it takes hundreds of surgeries to be truly proficient with the device.
In many cases, burns and tears caused by the Da Vinci system are not immediately apparent, and may not be discovered for some time. This can lead to delayed treatment for Da Vinci System injuries, which may be fatal.
Da Vinci Surgical System Lawsuits
In December 2003, a Florida man’s widow filed suit after her husband’s aorta and vena cava were severed by a surgeon suing the Da Vinci Surgical Robot. According to the plaintiff, doctors without sufficient experience with the system performed the surgery. In her claim, the woman charged that the hospital held use of the new device as a priority over her husband’s safety.
In May 2010, a New Hampshire woman sued Wentworth-Douglass Hospital after both of her ureters were cut during a robotic hysterectomy. According to this suit, the surgeon performing the operation did not have adequate training on the Da Vinci system.
In February 2012, the family of a Chicago man filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against his doctors, claiming that the man’s death in 2007 was directly related to improper use of the surgical robot. During surgery, the man suffered a puncture of the lower intestine during surgery to remove his spleen. The injury went undiscovered for weeks; eventually it was discovered, but it was too late to save the man’s life. The surgeon involved in the case admitted that this was the first surgery where he used the Da Vinci system on a live patient.
In March 2012, a New York man filed a federal da Vinci lawsuit when his 24-year-old daughter was killed as a result of burns to an artery and to her intestines which occurred during a hysterectomy. According to this suit, the woman’s burns were a result of Da Vinci design flaws that caused an electrical current to jump to shock her healthy organs and tissues.
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