By Thamanna Hussain
It was a lack of training, according to a robotic surgery lawsuit filed in Washington State by Josette Taylor that ultimately led to the death of her husband, Fred Taylor in 2012, about four years after undergoing what was supposed to be a routine prostate surgery. Josette Taylor, the wife, claims that her 67-year old husband's death resulted from a "woefully inadequate" company which gives surgeons a false sense of confidence to perform robotic surgeries. Instead of taking a few hours, the lawsuit claims that the surgery became a 13 hour procedure causing Taylor to lose 15 cups of blood and suffer from complications that included kidney failure, brain damage, permanent incontinence, and a 1-inch tear in his rectum, according to papers filed in the case.
Company emails introduced clinical sales representatives being congratulated for their efforts of meeting sale goals and overlooking training credentials. Other emails included a representative who advised a Montana hospital that its suggestion that the robot surgeons have at least five supervised cases would lead to some unintended consequences. The salesman further pointed out that the consequences would result in a cost of $15,000 per urologist which apparently slowed down the development of robotic surgery at another hospital.