If you have a scheduled surgery you may want to call your doctor to make sure you aren't going to be his or her "guinea pig" for learning a new, robotic surgical system. It's happened to thousands of patients, who only become aware of it after they are seriously injured and initiate a medical malpractice suit. Fred E. Taylor was one such patient.
Taylor arrived at the hospital for a routine prostatectomy, but his surgery lasted more than 13 hours. His surgeon was using a robotic surgical tool, known as the da Vinci Surgical System, but he had never used it outside of the training setting. The surgeon's inexperience led to serious consequences for Taylor; his botched surgery left him incontinent with a colostomy bag, ultimately resulting in lung and kidney damage and a stroke.
Surprisingly, the blame in Taylor's case doesn't start and end with his surgeon. The company that manufactures and sells the da Vinci Surgical System, Intuitive Surgical Inc., engaged in sales tactics that push surgeons to use their product before they're sufficiently experienced. Taylor's widow is bringing a lawsuit against Intuitive, who she claims routinely circumvents certification requirements to boost sales.
It's a whole new arena for injured patients. A botched surgery may involve more at-fault parties than just the surgeon, staff and hospital - the surgical system's manufacturer may be liable, too.
If you've been injured from surgical errors, you need an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to investigate your claim and examine your rights to collect money damages.
McKeen & Associates, PC, is a Detroit-based law firm that helps medical malpractice victims throughout the country. If the da Vinci robotic surgery system has seriously harmed you, call us for a free consultation.
Source: The New York Times, "Salesmen In The Surgical Suite," Roni Caryn Rabin, March 24, 2013