Robotic Surgery Resulting in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

by | Published on Feb 17, 2016 | News

Medical malpractice cases which involve a detailed medical record review of the claimant’s medical records are very challenging and difficult to prove and obtain a favorable verdict. Many malpractice suits result in defense verdicts with the doctor winning the trial. The main hurdles in winning a malpractice case include proving the medical provider’s negligence, convincing the jury that the doctor was negligent, and finding a good lawyer. Experienced malpractice attorneys depend on expert medical review services to understand and prepare the case well.

Talking of medical negligence cases, let us consider such lawsuits related to robotic surgery. A great technological advance, robotic surgery is expected to provide huge benefits to the medical field. However, it is not completely risk free, though less invasive. FDA records put the number of deaths following robotic surgery during the last 14 – 15 years at 144. From 2000 to 2013, the robots also caused around 1,391 patient injuries in procedures conducted by laparoscopic surgeons. So on whom does liability fall with regard to robotic surgery? If the injury is the result of human error during the surgical procedure, more liability would fall on the clinician. However, manufacturers of the robotic surgical equipment are also being scrutinized. Attorneys reviewing claims related to the da Vinci robotic surgery find that some errors are attributed to the surgical system’s defective design, whereas other allegations are that the manufacturer did not adequately warn users about the associated risks when using the equipment.

Approved by the FDA for use in the USA since 2000, the da Vinci robot is used to perform a number of gynecologic, urologic and laparoscopic surgeries including prostate and gall bladder removal, hysterectomies, thyroid operations and heart surgeries. This equipment is marketed by Intuitive Surgical. It is a remote controlled system allowing surgeons better range of movement in many minimally invasive procedures. The device is credited with advantages such as speedy recovery and minimal blood loss during surgery. Unfortunately though, there are risks associated with the da Vinci robot. In many cases, the robot is proving to be a dangerous liability leading to malpractice cases.

The risks and injuries associated with this robot include:

  • Burns
  • Bleeding
  • Damage to tissues, vessels and internal organs
  • Creating fistulas
  • Urethra cuts
  • Severe bowel injuries
  • Death

A case associated with a device such as the da Vinci robot may be handled by a medical malpractice lawyer or a product liability lawyer. A lawyer arguing a medical malpractice case must be qualified, experienced and have expertise in medical facts. The medical evidence involved is often complicated and the lawyer must be accustomed to dealing with such tricky evidence.

Lawyers planning to take up a medical malpractice case can utilize medical record review for attorneys, a value-added service offered by a medical record review company. The expert reviewers will study the details of the case and help you determine its strengths and weaknesses. They will also provide support at all phases through trial if necessary organizing, reviewing and summarizing the medical records and preparing the vital medical evidence.

Discover our medical record review solutions and partner with us for your next case.

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