Intuitive Surgical, which makes the da Vinci surgical robot has just issued a notification, but not just any notification, this one is marked urgent and it is making national news. We learned of this independently, because we closely follow the issues with these devices and represent those injured during robotic surgeries. As robotic surgery injury lawyers, with expertise in the safety issues related to da Vinci robotic devices, we want the public to know of this danger.
The company’s “urgent medical device notification” is intended to warn hospitals and physicians that the maker has “identified a potential issue” with the device. The maker wants medical professionals to know that internal burns can result from the use of one of the robot’s instruments. We want our readers to know about this danger.
Surgical injury cases have been on the rise and the safety of the da Vinci Robotic device has been an issue for some time. This urgent notification states that there are “micro-cracks” in some of these devices. The problem is focused on what are called “monopolar curved scissors” which the maker is now stating may leak and then create “a pathway for electrosurgical energy to leak to tissue during use and potentially cause thermal injury.” In other words, the device can burn the patient’s tissues.
A major concern relating to this is that the micro-cracks are likely not going to be visible to the medical professionals using the device in surgery … they are too small to be seen. Although the company has yet to confirm specific injuries to patients, they have issued this notification. We call it a warning to patients and to medical professionals — patients must be made fully aware of the risk of injury and if they are injured they should contact legal professionals for guidance.
The company has also included Precautions and Warnings for Usage of the EndoWrist Monopolar Curved Scissors as part of the urgent notification. Medical professionals need to understand this additional risk, even taking these “precautions” and must inform their patients of the risk of internal burns. If patients are injured during such a surgery, whether they have been informed of the risk or not, they need to protect their legal rights and get additional medical support.