There are many different medical issues that may force a Cleveland patient
to have surgery. Whether it is something relatively minor or something
that could potentially be life saving, there are risks associated with
surgery. A skilled Cleveland surgeon can navigate those risks, however,
and safely perform the operation. Yet, when he or she makes a mistake
during surgery, he or she can seriously or fatally injure a patient.
But for the family of a man who died from complications from a prostatectomy
in 2008, they are hoping a jury will find the robotics company Intuitive
Surgical Inc. responsible for their loved one’s death, not the surgeon.
They claim that the company is the one responsible for the man’s
death, as it failed to provide sufficient training to the doctors using
The company makes the da Vinci robotic system, a series of robotic arms
that perform complex surgical operations. While a surgeon is in the room
during the procedure, he or she is a few feet from the patient. He or
she uses a 3D camera and a set of computer displays, hand controls and
foot pedals to control the arms’ movements and the fine task of
operating on a patient.
The problem that the family alleges, however, is that the surgeon only
needed a one-day instructional program to learn how to use the robots.
He was supervised in two surgeries before being given permission to use
the robotic arms alone. The patient that died was that surgeon’s
first unsupervised robotic surgery.
The surgeon discovered that an unsupervised surgery was quite difficult
and after seven hours of operation finally chose to operate manually.