A surgical clip holds surfaces together, such as to hold the sides of the vas deferens together during a vasectomy, notes MedicineNet. Another use involves clipping a blood vessel to keep it from leaking blood into brain tissue.
Surgical clips are safe in most cases, but they are not suitable for some applications. For example, during laparoscopic kidney removal surgeries performed on donors, it's necessary to close the renal artery, as surgeons must cut it to remove the kidney. Staples are the best way to close them, but some doctors have used clips, and when they have slipped off, patients have died, according to CNN.