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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Did da Vinci Robot kill 24-year-old Woman?

Credit: Intuitve Surgical
Intuitive Surgical, the world leader in medical robotics, was recently sued in New York for death arising out of use of its da Vinci Robot. In his complaint, filed by the firm of Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, McCartney & Giuffra LLP of New York City, Gilmore McCalla asserts that when his 24-year-old daughter was having a hysterectomy in a Bronx hospital in August 2010, the robot caused burns to an artery and her intestines, which led to her death two weeks later. The complaint alleges design flaws in the da Vinci robot, including un-insulated surgical arms and use of electrical current which can jump to healthy internal organs and tissue. It also alleges that physicians are not properly trained on the device, and that Intuitive Surgery has failed to run randomized tests as to complications with its robot. The McCalla complaint, filed in the federal court in New York City on April 4, 2012, 12civ2597, also asserts that the manufacturer has suppressed reports of complications, and has oversold the merits of its da Vinci robot to hospitals considering buying it. The machine costs of upwards of $2 million to purchase and then has a sizeable annual maintenance cost.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. founded 1995 designs, manufactures, and markets da Vinci surgical systems for various surgical procedures, including urologic, gynecologic, cardiothoracic, general, and head and neck surgeries. Approximately 360,000 da Vinci® procedures were performed in 2011 (+29%) at the 2,132 da Vinci® Systems installed world wide as of end 2011.
Total revenue grew to $1 billion 757 million, up 24% over 2010. Recurring revenue grew to $980 million, up 30% and comprised 56% of total revenue. The company generated $831 million in operating profit before non-cash stock compensation expense, up 24% from last year.
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