Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Bloomberg News (3/6, Langreth) reports that robotic surgery systems created by California-based Intuitive Surgical Inc. "are linked to at least 70 deaths in informal incident reports sent to U.S. regulators since 2009, according to a review by Bloomberg News." Recently filed lawsuits are "adding new details about dangerous complications involving the da Vinci robots made by Intuitive." Over half of the procedures performed in 2012 by the robots, each one costing $1.5 million, were gynecological treatments, but it can also perform "prostate and gall bladder removals, as well as heart surgery." But as surgeries using the robot have grown more popular, "injury reports involving the procedures jumped to at least 115 in 2012 from 24 in 2009, while deaths rose to 30 from 11."