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Surgical Technology: Progressive or Regressive?

The introduction of the da Vinci robotic surgical system marked a new frontier in medical innovation. Da Vinci procedures are meant to be “minimally invasive,” granting the patient access to greater precision than surgeons could provide. Despite these claims, some surgeons worry that increased technology isn’t necessarily beneficial to the patient. According to Dr. Martin Makary in an interview with CNN, the surgeon is better able to discern nuances in tissue by contacting tissue directly. If a surgeon relies solely on a robot, he or she will not be able to make these sensitive detections.

Da Vinci robots are used to perform an array of surgical procedures. Robots are used for surgeries dealing with delicate tissue in hopes that the healing process will be smoother because of the robot’s precision. Many women are offered robotic hysterectomies as well as other gynecologic and urologic procedures. Prostate cancer surgeries are popularly performed with da Vinci robotic technology. Da Vinci robots are also widely used for throat, neck, and back surgeries.

Surgeons performing these specific robotic procedures require extensive supervised training in order to successfully use the da Vinci machines. Some reports show, however, that surgeons learning to manage the technology only go through three supervised surgeries on an animal or a cadaver before operating on actual patients. This calls attention to the lack of oversight when it comes to regulating the practice of robotic surgery. The implications of under-training surgeons are daunting.

Many researchers believe that complications stemming from robotic surgery are underreported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or not reported in a timely manner. A review of reported incidents shows that reports were usually sent to the FDA after 30 days, though one report was filed almost 3 years after the surgical complication. Of 245 serious reported injuries related to the da Vinci robot, 71 injuries resulted in patient fatality.

Truck Wreck due to Truck Defect

Despite what you may believe, not all truck wrecks are always caused by a multi-vehicle collision, although it could end up that way if other vehicles have the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Truck defects can lead to serious accidents because of the sheer weight a big rig usually carries and the speed that they usually travels. Some of the more common truck defects that can lead to a truck wreck include:

  • Brake deficiencies or failure
  • Tire defects
  • Engine or transmission failure
  • Suspension frame defects
  • Towing unit problems

The biggest problem of truck defects that lead to accidents is that it is seldom just the truck that is involved, especially if it is carrying a heavy load. When a truck experiences a blow-out or brake failure, for example, it can plow through a number of vehicles before the driver can get it to stop, and chances are it will stop when it falls on its side or hits a strong enough obstruction to stop it, like the side of a building or the guard railing. Aside from the property damage, the potential for involving other motorists and even pedestrians is high.

Aside from the mechanical potential for destruction, some big rigs carry loads that are dangerous, such as oil, fuel and chemicals. In case of a truck wreck, the biggest danger it poses will be when it comes to a stop and the load comes spilling out.

The liability for a truck wreck due to truck defects fall on the manufacturer of the product that failed. Consult with a truck accident lawyer to assess your case so you can get compensation for your injuries and property damage caused by the defective product.

Dangerous Product Defects in Construction

The construction industry is inherently high risk, which is why it pays so well and why there are such rigorous safety regulations specific to the construction site. Even under the best of possible circumstances, construction accidents can happen which can lead to injury or death such as falling debris, slips and falls, burns, or the old hammer on the thumb. But when construction equipment is defective either in design or manufacture, it is a dangerous product indeed.

Construction equipment can be anything from a welding torch to a crane, and when a worker is adequately trained for its use, observes safety regulations, and ensures the equipment is properly maintained, the risk of injury is small. But if a particular product is defective, it doesn’t matter how compliant a worker and construction employer are; injury or death can happen at any time.

Consider a defect in something like a crane. It is massively heavy, and it is designed to transport even heavier loads. If even one substandard cable snaps while it is in operation, the damage it can do can be devastating.

Let us consider something smaller, such as a welding torch. Welding is a difficult skill to master, mostly because there is a lot of pressure and heat that passes through a welding torch. If a welding torch is defective, the chances of getting badly burned are very high.

Construction site owners and managers have a duty of care to their workers, and when an accident occurs, the default reaction is that the owners or managers had been negligent. But when an accident occurs because of a defect in an inherently dangerous product such as construction equipment, it is a matter for a product liability attorney to look into. Construction equipment manufacturers are well aware of the potential for injury when the product is used, and are bound by the same duty of care.