Surgeon fined over $3K for amputating patient’s wrong leg

WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:

  • An Austrian surgeon was fined 2,296 euros (about $3,050) for mistakenly amputating the wrong leg of a patient.
  • The 82-year-old patient was supposed to have his left leg amputated but instead, his right leg was cut off.
  • The hospital released a statement after the incident, calling it a “tragic mistake, caused by human error.”

An Austrian surgeon has been fined $3,049 (about £2,296) for mistakenly amputating a patient’s wrong leg, BBC News reported.

According to the news outlet, the elderly patient was supposed to have his left leg amputated but instead, his right one was cut off. Two days had passed after the surgery when the unfortunate mistake was discovered.

A court found the unnamed 43-year-old surgeon guilty of gross negligence and issued the fine.

The widow of the patient, who died before the case came to court, was also awarded $5,660 (€5,000) in damages. 

The patient arrived at the Freistadt clinic in May to have his leg amputated. However, the doctor reportedly marked the wrong appendage to be sliced off.

During a bandage change, the mistake was discovered and the patient was instructed to have his other limb amputated, too.

The hospital said in a statement that “the causes and circumstances of this medical error have been analyzed in detail.”

“We are deeply shocked that on Tuesday, May 18, despite quality assurance standards, the wrong leg of an 82-year old man … was amputated,” the clinic said. They added that the event occurred as a “result of a sequence of unfortunate circumstances.”

According to the Austrian newspaper Kurier, the surgeon explained during court that there was an issue involving the chain of command during surgery.

The doctor was asked why she marked the wrong leg and she simply replied, “I just don’t know.”

She has since been moved to a new hospital.

Source: New York Post

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