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Study looks at problems experienced in robotic surgery
21 July 2015
MIT Technology Review: According to a recent study, most of the robotic surgical procedures performed over the past 14 years have gone smoothly. However, a significant number have suffered some sort of adverse event, even if it did not result in the injury or death of the patient. Jai Raman at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and his colleagues analyzed data on robotic procedures recorded in the Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience, or MAUDE, database kept by the US Food and Drug Administration. They found that of the more than 1 million robotic procedures carried out in the US between 2000 and 2013, 144 people died. However, procedure complications and prolonged operating times were caused by device malfunctions, which included equipment sparking and burning patients, pieces breaking off and falling into the patient’s body, equipment moving uncontrollably, and video feed being lost. Although no comparison was made with procedures that don’t use robotic techniques, the researchers say there is room for improvement in robotic equipment design and in the way accidents are reported and investigated.
© 2015 American Institute of Physics