Da Vinci Robot Burn Risk and Resulting Injuries

In recent months, there have been numerous reports of injuries caused by the da Vinci Robotic Surgery System and its component parts. Of particular concern are the burns and electrocutions that have seriously injured patients undergoing surgery with the assistance of the robot.* Such burns can result in organ damage, infection, and severe bleeding, among other complications.*

There have been two principal causes of the surgical injuries. One cause has been physician error.* Physicians may electrocute a patient if he or she unintentionally fires the charged surgical instrument, or if he or she accidentally touches another robotic arm with an electrified instrument.* The other main cause of injury has been robotic instrument’s lack of proper insulation.* Without appropriate insulation, electricity may unintentionally jump from the device to a patient’s body.*

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received several reports of patient injury (including death) associated with the use of the da Vinci Robotic Surgery System and its monopolar scissors.*

Da Vinci Robot Burn RiskIn one such report, Intuitive Surgical, the manufacturer of the da Vinci robot, indicated that a patient undergoing a hysterectomy had sustained a burn to her right external iliac artery, which had caused blood to pump into her body cavity, causing bowel ischemia “incompatible with life.”** In another report, a patient was in surgery to treat his prostate cancer. As soon as the surgeon activated the robotic scissors, they flamed, sparked, and began to smoke. Fortunately, in that case, the patient was not harmed.*** Nevertheless, in another hysterectomy, a patient lost 2,000 mL of blood when the monopolar scissors her surgeon was using sparked and damaged her external iliac vein.**** In a similar event, a patient’s artery was “visibly charred” by a spark from the surgical robot, which resulted in the need for additional stitching.*****

If you or someone you know has suffered an injury that may be related to the da Vinci robot, please contact Audet & Partners, LLP by calling us toll free at 800.965.1461. Alternatively, please complete and submit our confidential inquiry form on the right side of this page.  Please act now, since the law may limit your right to recovery if you delay.

* Da Vinci Robotic Surgery Burn and Electrocution Information, http://www.theclarkfirmtexas.com/davinci-robotic-surgery-burn-and-electrocution-information

** FDA Adverse Event Report, Report Number 2955842-2010-00528, http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfmaude/detail.cfm?mdrfoi__id=1915208
*** FDA Adverse Event Report, Report Number 1008021, http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfMAUDE/Detail.CFM?MDRFOI__ID=1008021

**** FDA Adverse Event Report, Report Number 2955842-2012-01314, http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfmaude/detail.cfm?mdrfoi__id=2874824
***** FDA Adverse Event Report, Report Number 2955842-2012-01405, http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfmaude/detail.cfm?mdrfoi__id=2884094

Join a class action. Call us: 800.965.1461