Bot Surgery Lawsuits on the Rise
If your local hospital has signed you up for surgery
on one of the $1.5 million da Vinci robotic systems,
you might first want to determine how much
experience the surgeon has with the device. According
to a Bloomberg news item, at least 10 lawsuits have
been filed in recent months claiming that patients have
been injured by robotic procedures, mainly as a result
of poor training provided by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. —
maker of the nearly 1,400 systems that are currently
used in US hospitals. Intuitive chief medical advisor
Myriam Curet described the training as "quite
extensive," but all we're talking about is an online quiz,
practice simulations, and a one-day onsite training
course. It is also recommended that new doctors
observe at least one operation, perform dry runs, and
be assisted by an experienced surgeon for the first few
procedures. Ultimately, "We cannot require anything,"
Curet noted, so it is up to the doctors to determine
how much training they need.
Mayo clinic researchers have determined that it takes 90 operations to become proficient in gynecological
surgery, and a spokesman for the David Geffen School of Medicine noted that it can take more than 200 rounds
of prostate surgery for a doctor to get it down. One result of the controversy is that the AAGL — formerly known
as the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists — is working on recommendations that will probably
include simulator training similar to what airline pilots receive. "In the same way that airline pilots are credentialed
to fly 787s, we want to make sure that before surgeons get in the cockpit that they have seen all scenarios they
could possibly see," noted a surgeon who regularly uses the machines. In the meantime, at least make sure that
the guy working the console is actually wearing scrubs, not a janitorial uniform.
Pay no attention to that man behind
the console. ©Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
8 SERVO 06.2013
A Mint for Your Tablet/Smartphone
If you've been suffering from exhaustion, tennis elbow, cramps, backaches,
or other maladies caused by the drudgery of cleaning the display on your tablet
and/or smartphone, rejoice! Your agony is coming to an end, thanks to Japan's
Takara Tomy Corporation ( www.takaratomy.co.jp). For much less than the cost
of a da Vinci, you can pick up the Auto Mee S robotic vacuum to do the job for
you. Consider it as basically a mini version of iRobot's Mint floor sweeper.
Just plop it onto your mobile device's screen, and in a blink of an eye
(assuming it takes you up to eight minutes to blink) it will be shining like the
rising sun over Tokyo. The official list price has been reported at $17, but as of
this writing you can order one from Amazon for only $33. Batteries, of course,
are not included. Such a deal!
The Auto Mee S robotic screen cleaner.