Tragic Outcome: Surgical Robot Causes Intestinal Burns, Resulting in Florida Woman's Untimely Demise

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  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 02/12/2024
During a routine procedure, a Florida lady tragically lost her life when a surgical robot is said to have burnt a hole in her gut. In an attempt to bring justice for his late wife Sandra Sultzer, her heartbroken husband Harvey Sultzer filed a federal wrongful death case after the event. The complaint, filed on February 6, claims that after undergoing a da Vinci surgical robot treatment at Baptist Health Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Sandra had serious health problems. During the procedure, ISI's popular da Vinci robot—a multiarmed, remote-controlled apparatus—was utilized.

The "EndoWrist," a set of sophisticated electrosurgical tools made by the da Vinci robot that replicates a surgeon's hand motions in real time, was used in Sandra's treatment to cure her colon cancer. Unfortunately, Sandra's small intestine suffered a heat damage during this procedure, which resulted in a perforation and the need for further medical care. Sandra's health quickly worsened even after she had another surgery to treat the injuries she had incurred in 2021. She began to suffer from severe stomach ache and a chronic fever. In February 2022, Sandra finally passed away from her wounds, leaving her family grieving and in search of clarification.

According to the complaint, Sandra was not given enough information about the dangers of the surgical device that was used on her. It is shocking to see that patients were more vulnerable to burn injuries since the da Vinci robot reportedly had greater complication rates than conventional laparoscopic equipment.

Sadly, this is not a unique occurrence. As a result of surgeries employing the equipment, patients have alleged injury and, in some instances, death. The complaint discloses that ISI, the maker of the da Vinci robot, has been the target of around ninety-three product liability claims. Thousands of complaints of injuries and defects associated with the operation have also been recorded.

Current legal action against the manufacturer seeks more than $75,000 in damages, along with penalties for punitive damages, negligence, product responsibility, design flaw, failure to warn, and loss of consortium.

It is critical that patient safety stays at the forefront when the medical profession adopts new technology in surgical operations. The unfortunate passing of Sandra Sultzer serves as a reminder that patients need to be fully informed of the hazards connected to these state-of-the-art technology.

The severity of the need for more responsibility, openness, and knowledge about the use of surgical robots is highlighted by this litigation. We cannot guarantee that future patients will not have the tragic outcomes shown in this tragic example unless we take such precautions.


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