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Ross Finnie, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman has released figures revealing that more than 5000 operations have gone wrong across Scotland in the past five years due to ‘human error’,  leading to suspicion that medics are facing pressure to take risks in order to meet targets.

The mistakes include 3000 incidences where patients had organs accidentally punctured during surgery; situations where instruments or materials were accidentally left inside the body and “inappropriate” procedures being carried out.

The figures naturally lead to questions regarding the severity of the mistakes? Further, how many of these errors resulted in fatality?

On the other hand, with approximately 1.2million surgical procedures carried out a year, and with an understanding of the inherent risks involved, these figures must be taken in context.

Be that as it may, context does very little to ease the mind of someone who leaves hospital more seriously injured than when they first went in.

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