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16 deaths, hundreds harmed by surgical errors since 2005

When a patient goes to the doctor, he or she is putting their trust into the doctor's hands. The patient believes that the doctor will make good decisions that are in the patient's best interest, and they believe that the doctor is highly trained and skilled enough to avoid making any critical errors. Of course, this isn't always true. Doctors make mistakes all the time; and when they do, the patient can (and should) hold them responsible for their negligence.

However, when a surgery is going to be performed, the patient quite literally entrusts their life with the surgeon and his or her staff. Surgical errors are often catastrophic. If the patient survives the ordeal, they are usually left in severe pain or dealing with serious medical complications. This can require them to take medicine for long periods or stay in a hospital for a long time -- unfair medical bills that they should not have been subjected to.

Given how complicated surgery can be, some mistakes are "understandable," even if they are still unforgivable. But some surgical error stories you hear seem to defy explanation of reality. A recent report took this sentiment and exponentially expanded it.

According to the report, about 772 patients have experienced a surgical error involving a medical object that was left inside of them. Roughly 95 percent of those patients had to stay in the hospital for an extended period to fix the issue, and 16 people died because of the surgical error they were unfortunately dealt.

Source: CBS News, "Nearly 800 surgical tools left in patients since 2005: Report," Ryan Jaslow, Oct. 18, 2013

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