Da Vinci Robotic Surgery Injuries and Deaths Vastly Underreported

A just released report by doctors at Johns Hopkins Medical School about deaths and injuries during surgeries using the da Vinci robot could be a further reason why its manufacturer, Intuitive Surgical, should be considering a settlement of the pending claims. The researchers were given access to the FDA's data bases and considered other evidence, including pending lawsuits. The report is published in the current Journal for Healthcare Quality, and was accompanied by a press release.

The chief researcher , Marty Makary, M.D., a laparoscopic surgeon at Johns Hopkins, concludes that the number of deaths and injuries, while significant, are greatly underreported. Surgeons performing robotic surgery, his group suspects, are not reporting serious adverse consequences. They recommended establishing a registry to keep track of adverse consequences when the da Vinci machine was utilized.

The Johns Hopkins survey reports that a larger amount of deaths and serious injuries came from performing hysterectomies, compared to other types of surgical procedures. Some 22 reports of deaths following robotic hysterectomy surgery were evaluated. One of the instances of a death during a robotic hysterectomy which came to the attention of Dr . Makary's group was the lawsuit our firm had filed, McCalla v. Intuitive Surgical, which was not otherwise in the FDA database. That case is discussed in detail in our website.