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Procedure Checklist Developed for Robotic Surgeries
2008 - With the increasing prevalence of robotic surgeries from new advanced medical technologies, the World Health Organization published a surgical checklist for these procedures. That checklist, which includes a pre-surgery "time-out" has proven to lower the mortality rates of patients during surgery. This time-out period is used during robotic surgeries to allow the doctors and nurses to reconnect with the patient and ensure that certain protocols are in order before continuing the extensive operation.
In an article titled, "The Second "Time-Out": A Surgical Safety Checklist for Lengthy Robotic Surgeries", doctors suggested a new protocol checklist that included a second time-out. This new protocol stemmed from a recent surge in longer more complex robotic surgeries because doctors are becoming more comfortable with these operations to try using them in new previously unexplored areas of surgery.
A major complication from lengthy robotic surgeries is the position in which the patient must be placed to undergo the surgery. The patient’s position can often lead to nerve injury and rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which muscle tissue breaks down and is released into the bloodstream. Because doctors usually perform these surgeries away from the patient, this second time-out is meant to reconnect the medical staff with the patient to ensure the patient’s safety.
The new checklist incorporates four areas consisting of general patient factors, surgeon factors, anesthesia factors, and nursing factors. This time-out, which is to occur three to four hours after the beginning of the procedure, is meant to incorporate all of the medical staff together to help monitor things such as patient positioning, level of blood loss, and surgeon performance.
The second time-out procedure has been in place on a voluntary basis and has received positive feedback from those surgeons. The time-out has been found to be minimally intrusive on the robotic surgery because the entire checklist can be performed in as little as a few minutes. This second time-out can serve as an invaluable opportunity to identify and prevent potential nerve and muscle tissue injuries in the future.
Technology is a fundamental aspect of our daily lives, with new advancements introduced to the world on a daily basis. Years ago, the cell phone changed how we conducted our day to day activities. What was once a novelty that many didn’t want to accept has now become a way of life. As more and more technologies are being developed, one starts to wonder what new technology will change our lives in the future.
Healthcare is an ever-changing industry. There is evidence of scalpel-like objects being used to perform surgeries as far back as 2000 B.C. Additionally, 14 skulls have been found with incision marks that have healed, suggesting the individuals survived the surgeries and had time to recuperate.
Throughout time, technological advancement has improved the healthcare industry. One such advancement, robotic surgery, has become increasingly popular in the last decade.
One of the first systems of its kind, the Da Vinci Robotic System debuted in 2000. A surgeon controls the robotic surgery system using a console near the patient. The robot’s arms hold various medical tools to perform the various surgeries, most often hysterectomies and prostate removals. Although the robot minimizes the chances of human error, there have been reports of pieces of the robot being left in the patient’s bodies after surgery, and earlier versions were known to arc and burn patients in some circumstances. Lawsuits seeking to hold robotic surgery systems liable followed.
Combined with artificial intelligence and the continually developing robotic surgery systems, the robots will become more self-sufficient. It’s possible that one-day robots will be able to perform the surgeries themselves rather than relying on the control of a human. Many healthcare officials believe this won’t happen anytime soon, simply because human interaction and fact-checking are essential.
But the real question is “What are the possible complications that could occur as a result of a robot performing my surgery?” This is a question that should be asked more often, particularly because of the side effects that have resulted from the Da Vinci Robotic Surgery System. The debate over the role of technology in medicine will become more and more important as technology evolves.
The proportion of women having their uterus removed using robotic-assisted surgery increased from one in 200 procedures in 2007 to one in 10 in 2010. In March of 2013, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) warned,
“Many women today are hearing about the claimed advantages of robotic surgery for hysterectomy, thanks to widespread marketing and advertising. Robotic surgery is not the only or the best minimally invasive approach for hysterectomy. Nor is it the most cost-efficient. It is important to separate the marketing hype from the reality when considering the best surgical approach for hysterectomies.”
Following this statement by ACOG comes news that OB-GYNS are now telling patients that the pricey robotic surgery shouldn’t be the first or even second choice for most women who need a hysterectomy.
Da Vinci Robotic surgery hysterectomy lawsuits have been filed by women alleging that pieces of the da Vinci robot were left inside their body. Other da Vinci robot injuries include surgical burns, cut uteruses, tears to arteries, bowel injuries and organ damage.
Despite the fact that studies show that there is a long learning curve for robotic surgeries, robotic surgery systems are spreading quickly across the US and uses for them to increase.
In addition to hysterectomies, surgeons are also using the robotic systems to perform other surgeries including heart surgeries, prostatectomies, urology procedures, and other operations. Intuitive Surgical makes money by selling the systems and off of the disposable instruments that must be replaced after each procedure.
Where did this sudden increase in robotic surgeries nationwide, come from? Why have hospitals spent a large amount of cash to purchase these expensive surgical systems?
Some argue that the expansion of this technology should have occurred in a more controlled, scientific and scholarly manner. Instead, the expansion of robot-assisted surgeries has been attributed to the marketing genius of Intuitive Surgical and over-enthusiastic surgeons anxious to be early adopters of the newest technology.
Marketing by Intuitive Surgical focused on two avenues – hospitals and direct-to-consumer. Intuitive Surgical understands that an increasing number of patient’s turn to the internet for health-related decisions so they focus much of the marketing for robotic surgery on the internet.
In addition to a web-based marketing push, Intuitive Surgical takes their expensive da Vinci surgical system to the people – it is no longer unusual to find surgical robot demos in malls across the country. That is not a typo, Intuitive Surgical invites mall shoppers to operate the $1.7 million da Vinci surgical system from the surgeon’s perspective – sitting at the surgeon’s console, viewing the surgical field from the surgeons perspective and using the robot to control surgical instruments. Of course, events such as surgical robot mall visits lead to local news coverage and more patient buzz.
According to da Vinci surgery lawyers, U.S. regulators began surveying surgeons in February 2013. Da Vinci robot surgery lawyers recently learned that there was a rise in da Vinci robot reports that included as many as 70 deaths since 2009. According to Bloomberg News, a review of FDA records shows that injuries involving robot procedures doubled in the first six months of 2013 as compared with a year earlier.
In July 2013, Intuitive Surgical disclosed that the FDA issued them a warning letter with regards to the FDA inspections in April and May which found a number of deficiencies, including that the company in some cases hadn’t adequately reported device corrections and patient adverse events. Da Vinci robot surgery lawsuits continue to mount as a result of these patient adverse events.
Da Vinci Robot lawsuits continue to be filed. These lawsuits claim that a very low-tech problem – wear and tear – can spoil the benefits of using a remote, automated system, injuring patients and forcing the invasive surgery they were trying to avoid.
The da Vinci Robot lawsuits boil down to microscopic cracks in the protective covers insulating some of the tools that da Vinci uses, which could possibly allow electricity to leak out and burn patients. The bad robot surgery lawsuit alleges that da Vinci’s maker, Intuitive Surgical, hasn’t done nearly enough to correct the problem or to warn hospitals and doctors.
If you experienced injuries after undergoing a robot-assisted surgery, you should contact a da Vinci robot lawyer.
Last Modified: March 19th, 2019 @ 02:34 pm
As technology continues to evolve so do medical advancements. However, not all technological medical advancements are safe. Da Vinci robotic systems are used to perform various surgeries, including hysterectomies. If you were injured during a surgery that used a da Vinci Robot, contact a lawyer.
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