The Pressure to Sell Could be Behind da Vinci Surgical Errors

Any surgical procedure carries some risk, even something as routine as an appendectomy. This is a given and acceptable provided that negligence or recklessness on the part of the hospital staff did not cause a patient’s injuries. However, when surgical errors occur that lead to injury or death because the surgeon did not know how to use the tools provided, that would be considered an actionable case.

In the cases against Intuitive Surgical Inc., manufacturer of the famed robotic surgery system da Vinci, one of the main problems with its use is the fact that many surgeons who use it did not have enough training to do so effectively and efficiently. As a result of this lack of training, surgical errors that would have a significant impact on a patient’s health and life occur.

It could be argued that hospitals are required to verify the credentials of a surgeon to use new technology such as da Vinci in surgery prior to an operation. However, since the robotic system is something new to the playing field, hospitals tend to follow the lead of the manufacturer in what would constitute a sufficient number of supervised operations before the surgeon is allowed to go solo. And since Intuitive would like to see more surgeons switching over to da Vinci, which would help drive sales in the future, the faster the surgeon is given credentials for its use, the better.  As a result, instead of being supervised by a more experienced surgeon for 5 operations, some new users get credentials after only three.

There are some indications that this short-cut was being urged on hospitals by Intuitive sales representatives, although the company denies any involvement in hospital credentialing policy. In light of the number of botched surgeries associated with the use of da Vinci, it is important to establish just how far Intuitive is responsible for quite serious surgical errors by otherwise well-trained surgeons with wide experience in the operations in question.

Proving Negligence When Accidents Happen

Every year in the US, an average of 25 million people suffer unintentional injuries that necessitates a visit to the emergency room. About 9 million are from falls, three million by striking against an object or person and 3.5 million from motor vehicle accidents. On average, about 25% of these unintentional injuries are directly or indirectly due to negligence of a third party, or about 6 million people. That’s a lot of work for an accident lawyer.

However, it is not at all easy to prove negligence. The burden of proof on the part of a plaintiff includes demonstrating that the defendant had a duty of care to the injured person. The plaintiff must also prove that the defendant’s act i.e. drinking while driving was not reasonable or prudent and that the act (or failure to act) caused the injury in question. That sounds straightforward enough but it really isn’t.

There are many loopholes in liability laws in general, and in New Jersey, contributory negligence is in effect (New Jersey Statutes – 2A:15-5.1). This means that if the plaintiff is in any way partly responsible for the accident i.e. crossing the street while texting then the liability of the defendant is reduced by the degree by which the plaintiff is found to be contributory. If the jury finds that the plaintiff is more responsible for the accident than the defendant (or group of defendants combined), then there can be no recovery of damages. A good defense lawyer will seize any advantage that is presented, and without an equally good accident lawyer, things can go wrong very quickly for the plaintiff.

This can be devastating for someone who has already suffered a great deal from an accident, and whose financial situation is shaky. It is up to the accident lawyer to make sure that justice is done by the victim, and that the responsible parties pay for their negligence. If bringing a personal injury case before civil court in New Jersey, make sure you retain an experienced accident lawyer with intimate knowledge of New Jersey personal injury laws.

Loss of Memory due to Diffuse Brain Injury

One of the most difficult of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) to diagnose is diffuse brain injury. This is because the damage is so small that it will not even show up in a computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the default diagnostic tools for TBI. The patient is also often lucid and asymptomatic right after the traumatic event; symptoms develop later. A diffuse brain injury or diffuse axon injury (DAI) is said to have occurred when trauma to the head causes axons (brain nerve fibers) to be displaced. Axons are the pathways that connect one area of the brain with another.

When axons are misshapen or twisted, it can cause a disconnect between neurons which can have serious consequences for the patient. Aside from loss of memory, there may be difficulty in communicating, cognitive processing, speaking or moving. However, the effects develop gradually in the following two to three weeks so those around the patient may not even be aware of any changes at first. The most common cause of DAI is whiplash, which is when a person’s head is thrust forward and then back violently, such as during a car accident. The trauma patient would receive treatment for possible concussion, but since the patient will not lose consciousness even with DAI, the initial vigilance for TBI will be relaxed.

In the meantime, the DAI may progress, and symptoms may include frequent headaches, difficulty in focusing, dizziness and loss of memory. In most cases, the traumatized axons will regenerate over time unless the damage is extensive. However, even a temporary loss of memory and decreased cognitive and physical function can have a disastrous impact on a person’s career, resulting in loss of income, which can lead to long-term financial and emotional problems. If you suffer from DAI due to the negligent actions of others, consult with a personal injury lawyer to assess your case and recover the appropriate damages due to loss of memory and other DAI effects.

Brain Hemorrhages

Brain injuries are among the most common reasons for personal injury claims. Accidents that cause brain injuries are liable for compensation, especially since such injuries are life-threatening and expensive. Consulting reliable and experienced brain injury attorneys could help you in various ways: in assessing how much compensation you have the right to, collecting evidence, information, and witnesses necessary for your case, and representing you in court.

One of the things people should look out for once they have been involved in an accident is brain hemorrhage. A brain hemorrhage occurs as bleeding in and around the brain, often caused by trauma, high blood pressure, drug abuse, and abnormally weak blood vessels (that potentially leak blood). As blood collects (causing hematoma), it can increase pressure in the brain tissue, reducing important blood flow which can eventually kill the brain cells. It is a very dangerous condition that can lead to stroke-like symptoms, and can even cause stroke due to the bleeding in the brain.

Among the leading causes of brain hemorrhage are car or motorcycle accidents, slip and fall, sports accidents, and physical assaults and violence. There are ways that this injury can be prevented. To lower the risks of having brain hemorrhage, you can:

  • Always wear seatbelts or helmets when driving or riding any type of vehicle.
  • Put on protective gears whenever you play sports, especially those that require them.
  • Keep things in order to avoid tripping, slipping or falling inside or outside your house.
  • Keep yourself in proper physical shape.
  • Don’t drink and drive.

There are many other things that you can do to help protect yourself from brain injuries, especially brain hemorrhage. And for those who have acquired them, you can rest assure that injuries such as this can be treated and you can get back to your life after thorough rehabilitation. For those who have been injured because of an accident, they can get compensation to help pay for medicines and treatments through the aid of their brain injury attorneys. It should be vital to have support from family and loved ones to ease and speed up the recovery of the brain injury. There is no need to face this injury alone, there are also many support groups that can give information and guidance, as well as stand with you through the whole healing process.

What to Do if Someone Injures You

Being injured in an accident that is caused by the negligence or recklessness of another person warrants you the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the one responsible for your injuries. Injuries from such accidents does not only cause physical and emotional pain, they can also be hard on the pockets, making you miss a significant number of days from work, with costly medical bills and other payments. Personal injury attorneys can help you win back necessary compensation to help you get back to your life.

Filing for a personal injury claim does not necessarily mean going to court: you and the person responsible for the injuries can get to a settlement. There are advantages to having your claim settled. The number one advantage of settling your personal injury case is the lower cost that you will be paying for the lawyers and overall trail. There will be no witness fees and other court fees that should be paid. Another advantage is having faster solutions – without waiting for courts to open, you can settle your claims quicker. Settling also gives you the control you want in how much you want for compensation. You always have the choice on the outcome of the claims.

There are some things that should be avoided when filing for a personal injury lawsuit. First, be aware of your state’s statute of limitations. The longer you put off your case, the less chance you can have it pushed to have your compensation given. One more thing to avoid is not hiring personal injury attorneys, even just one, to help you in your claims. They are very important in guiding you through the whole process, giving out vital advice, options and computations on how much the damage are worth and the amount of compensation you have the right to. They are also the ones who know more about personal injury law and fight for your cause. Lastly, once the claims have been settled, don’t try to file the same case against the same people again. This is illegal, and can put you in a bad light.

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