While the staplers themselves can malfunction, problems more often start with the people using the devices, according to investigators at the Plymouth Meeting company that evaluates the safety, quality, and cost effectiveness of health care. They pick staples that are too big or too small, try to staple tissue that is too thick or thin, or try to staple over another instrument or clip. Stapling mistakes can be fatal, usually because of bleeding. Complications can occur immediately or well after surgery.
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