Few storied medical practitioners ever believed they would live to see robots performing surgery. However, changes in modern technology have allowed for the introduction of contraptions like the Da Vinci Surgical System, a fully-automated robotic “arm” capable of performing minimally invasive surgical procedures including some hysterectomies and prostate removal procedures. As is usually the case with any new technology, there are glitches with the Da Vinci surgical system that have, unfortunately, resulted in unnecessary and unexpected patient injuries. Many Da Vinci patients have endured follow-up repair surgery or experienced significant problems with aftercare. If you have recently undergone a surgical procedure involving the Da Vinci system and believe your complications may be due to this medical device, we encourage you to contact Nelson C. Barry today.
Details Emerge of Significant Spike in Da Vinci Adverse Reports
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for overseeing and investigating adverse medical events. It maintains a database of complaints submitted both by patients and medical professionals of issues arising either with medications or “therapeutic biologic products.” According to reports, the first eight months of 2013 saw 2,332 reports of problems with the Da Vinci surgical system. By contrast, just 4,603 reports were submitted for the entire preceding 12-year span beginning with the device’s introduction in 2000.
The FDA’s adverse event reports pertaining to the Da Vinci surgical system could imply one of two things. First, it is possible that, as the device gains popularity, more patients are undergoing surgery via the robotic device, thereby inflating the number of possible issues while maintaining a steady percentage of patients experiencing problems. Alternatively, as is suspect by many medical professionals and medical malpractice attorneys, the robotic arm has been tweaked or changed since its approval in 2000, resulting in a sudden increase in problems. The maker of the Da Vinci system, Intuitive Surgical, asserts that there has been no change in the makeup of the system and patients are simply more apt to making an adverse claim than in years past.
Working With a Medical Malpractice Attorney can Help
A medical malpractice attorney can work with you to help you advance your claim of medical negligence, which can be a difficult cause of action to prove. First, you must have been actually injured by the device in order to prevail. Even if thousands of other patients have been injured by the same device as was used in your surgery, you cannot win your lawsuit if you cannot prove actual, compensable injuries. This generally includes any complication or setback that, but for the Da Vinci surgical system, you would not have experienced.
Second, you must be able to prove a causal connection between the Da Vinci system and your resulting complication. This is where cases often become complicated, requiring the use of an expert medical witness who can opine to the jury that the robotic system caused your setback. Sometimes, surgery complications are caused by other issues not related to the procedure itself – an argument the makers of the Da Vinci system will undoubtedly advance.
Contact Nelson C. Barry today
If you are interested in additional information about upcoming Da Vinci surgical system litigation, contact attorney Nelson C. Barry today.