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Robotic surgery may increase risk of injuries


The medical field is constantly evolving. New medications and medical practices promise to give patients more accurate and effective treatment. However, not all innovations are great for patients. In fact, researchers have discovered that when minimally invasive robotic surgery is used to treat prostate cancer, patients may be put at an increased risk of harm. The study, published in JAMA Surgery, found that in 2006 the incidents of harm doubled amongst patients, which corresponds with the year robotic surgery for prostate cancer was accepted at many hospitals.

This is, no doubt, startling news for many Oregonians. What is even scarier is the fact that robotic surgeries are becoming more common. In 2006, these types of operations accounted for about 10 percent of all minimally invasive robotic prostatectomies. Experts suggest that, despite the data, robotic surgery can be safe. However, they call for standardized training, new rules covering competence and credentialing, and new hospital guidelines.

As new technologies become more common in hospital operating rooms and doctors acquire mastery over them, patients may be better off. But until that time, far too many patients experience pain and suffering caused by a doctor who fails to adequately operate these new machines. Those who suffer injuries are often left devastated physically, emotionally, and financially, and they may take years to fully recover, if a full recovery is even attainable.

It is understandable that those harmed by a doctor would be angry. For some, the best way to take out this anger and to recover damages is to file a hospital negligence lawsuit. Doing so could bring a victim much needed compensation, which he or she can then use to pay medical expenses and long-term care costs. In addition, these awards may help ease the damage caused by lost wages and help ease pain and suffering.

Medical professionals should first do no harm. When they fail to uphold this standard, they should be held accountable.

Source: Medical Xpress, "Rapid surgical innovation puts patients at risk for medical errors," July 2, 2014

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