New research conducted by Johns Hopkins University estimates that surgical never events, medical mistakes that professionals universally agree should never be made, actually happen quite often. Never events include foreign objects left in a patient’s body after surgery, operations performed on the wrong body part, and incorrect procedures performed on a patient. Researchers estimate that 80,000 never events occurred between 1990 and 2010, which is a rate of more than 10 per day. Of the 80,000 patients who were affected by never events, 6.6% died, 32.9 % suffered permanent injury, and 59.2% suffered temporary injury as a result of the mistake. The events also led to 9,744 paid malpractice claims over the same period with payments totaling $1.3 billion. “There are mistakes in health care that are not preventable. Infection rates will likely never get down to zero even if everyone does everything right, for example,” said Marty Makary, M.D., M.P.H., an associate professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in a press release. “But the events we’ve estimated are totally preventable. This study highlights that we are nowhere near where we should be and there’s a lot of work to be done.” The press report mentions policies hospitals and healthcare centers can implement to prevent never events, including mandatory “timeouts” in the operating room before operations begin to make sure medical records and surgical plans match the patient on the table. Other steps include surgical checklists as well as surgical instruments with electronic bar codes that allow for precise counts of materials and limit human error.