A new survey—compiled of information from researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center—reveals that surgical robotic devices have been linked to at least 144 deaths, over 1,400 injuries and 8,061 malfunctions in a period of 14 years. The survey was based on information the Food and Drug Administration collected from patients, manufacturers of the device and hospitals.
Specific events reported include incidences of electrical sparks causing burns, technical errors creating delays in procedures and broken instruments falling into patients’ bodies. Surgeries using robotic devices have become increasingly common due to the less invasive nature of the procedures. However, researchers have warned that because use of the systems is increasing at such a rapid rate, the number of adverse accidents will also increase.