How’d that get in there? An alarming number of surgeons are still leaving items inside patients’ bodies after procedures, according to a new study from Johns Hopkins. Looking at malpractice claims from 1990 to 2010, they found that these “never events”—the phrase used to describe this error, because it should never happen—actually occur at least 4,082 times per year. Deaths were reported in 6.6 percent of the patients, while 32.9 percent claimed permanent injury. More traumatizing facts: Every week 39 foreign objects are left behind in bodies, 20 procedures are performed on the wrong patient, and another 20 procedures performed are entirely wrong to begin with.
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