Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times / 1.7 million

A team of university eggheads have counted up the number of medical cockups in America reported to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2000 to 2013, and found there were 144 deaths during robot-assisted surgery, 1,391 injuries, and 8,061 counts of device malfunctions.

If that sounds terrible, consider that 1.7 million robo-operations were carried out between 2007 and 2013. Whether you’re impressed or appalled, the number of errors has the experts mildly concerned, and they want better safety mechanisms.

Taking Blue Screen of Death to another level

Source: Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times • The Register

It’s tricky to compare these robo-op figures to the error rate of pure-human surgeries for various dull reasons; one being that when mistakes are made, they’re often settled out of court and are never admitted. With a machine involved, someone can blame the hardware.

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