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How potentially dangerous is robotic surgery?

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2019 | Medical Malpractice

Surgical procedures have made almost miraculous advancements in recent years, but it does not mean that modern surgery is infallible. In fact, you and other Illinois residents may be put at risk by innovative treatments that are still being developed and refined, especially when medical staff have less experience with newer surgical methods.

You may have learned about robotic surgery, which has been highly touted by the medical community over the past few years. Surgeons claim that these procedures result in patients healing more quickly and having less risk of developing infections in the hospital. However, as BBC News reports, recent studies have uncovered numerous injuries and fatalities said to have resulted from robotic surgical procedures.

In a report by the University of Illinois, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Rush University Medical Center, more than 1,000 injuries and 144 deaths across the United States were attributed to mistakes involving robotic surgical equipment. You may be interested in the details, which include the following:

  • Electrical sparks causing burns and charring
  • Equipment spontaneously powering on and off or having uncontrolled movements
  • Broken robotic parts falling into patients’ bodies
  • Loss of video feeds or inaccurate error codes

As you may expect, surgical teams could reduce the risks of injuries by having more training regarding robotic machinery errors. It can also help when this technology is further refined. Robotic surgery, although having been around for several years, is still a relatively new development and is not without imperfections. As can be expected, mistakes involving robotic surgery may be subject to medical malpractice claims.