According to authors from three major American universities, robotic surgeries accounted for at least 144 deaths and 1,391 injuries between 2000 and 2013. Robotic surgeries are a popular choice for minimally invasive surgeries due to a robots ability to be precise, but who can be held accountable in the event of an injury?
Robotic Surgery Errors Reported In the Study
- Burnt or broken pieces of tools falling into the patient (14.7 %)
- Electrical sparking (10.5 %)
- Robots making unintended movements (8.6 % and this type of error resulted in 52 injuries and two deaths).
A typical medical malpractice case occurs when a doctor or some other medical professional makes a mistake, which they should normally not make under those circumstances, and that mistake leads to an injury. Serious medical malpractice cases are usually the result of human error and they can involve severe infection, loss of function of a body part, or even death. Doctors carry insurance in case they make a mistake that causes an injury.
In the case of an injury from robotic surgeries, you may be able to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice if the doctor or hospital acted negligently in using the robot. However, there have been many lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of robotic surgery systems over the last few years. As more and more hospitals use these types of systems, it is reasonable to believe that more and more robots will be the target of lawsuits.
Read the full article as reported by NBC News.