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Robot surgical incidents may pressure hospital training

Bloomberg, November 12, 2013
A rising number of reports about deaths, injuries and malfunctions linked to the robotic surgery system made by Intuitive Surgical Inc. may pressure hospitals to bolster training for doctors using the $1.5 million device. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration received 3,697 adverse event reports through Nov. 3, compared with 1,595 through all of 2012, an agency official said in an interview last week. While the FDA said the surge may be tied to added public awareness from more use of the da Vinci surgical systems or recent media reports and recalls, a survey of surgeons suggested the complex robot interface was a challenge to master and that physician training was inconsistent.