According to a new study conducted by Johns Hopkins researchers, surgical errors - commonly referred to as "never events" within the medical community because they should "never" happen - continue to negatively impact the lives of more than 4,000 patients in the United States every year. The study, which examined successful medical malpractice claims between 1990 and 2010, found that preventable errors, such as leaving foreign objects in the patient's body, performing surgery on the wrong body site or performing an incorrect procedure resulted in permanent injury or death in more than 38 percent of patients affected. More than 12 percent of physicians were found to be repeat offenders, and settlements in such cases totaled more than $1 billion. An article on the study in The Atlantic quotes lead researcher Marty Makary, who calls for increased transparency in healthcare saying, "I think if all of that information is public, patients will not have to walk into a hospital blind." Makary believes that greater accountability will lead to widespread implementation of preventative measures, which will help make these "never events" far less common.