Human error is one of the biggest causes of poor surgical outcomes. Even with years of education and professional experience, a licensed surgeon can make a major mistake. Long shifts, changes to their schedule or even declining personal health could lead to a surgeon making a preventable mistake during an operation.
Some of the worst and more common surgical errors include leaving objects behind in the patient or performing the wrong procedure. Hospitals and medical researchers desperately want to find wants to limit surgical errors, which can lead to expensive medical malpractice claims.
In theory, robotic surgical devices help reduce the likelihood of surgical errors. Patients are no longer at risk of a surgeon nicking an artery because of a trembling hand, for example. However, human error and other issues can still endanger patients during a robotic surgical procedure.
How common are errors in robotic surgeries?
Extensive research went into the development of robotic surgical equipment, and every surgeon that operates one of these units needs special training. Sadly, even with that training and careful product design, a surgeon could make a mistake while operating the device. It is also possible for the device itself to malfunction or to fail due to a technical issue.
Over the course of 13 years, there have been at least 144 patient deaths, 1,391 patient injuries and more than 8,000 recorded device malfunctions involving a robotic surgical system. One of the more common problems reported involves burnt pieces of the unit falling into the patient during a procedure.
Realizing that there is risk inherent in any sort of surgery can help you analyze a recent medical experience to determine whether it was a surgical error that constitutes malpractice or not.