A female surgeon who amputated the wrong leg of a patient has been fined just £2,300 for the mistake.
A tribunal in Linz, Austria yesterday heard the astonishing details of how the unnamed 43-year-old female doctor marked the wrong leg of his elderly patient.
According to local reports, the 82-year-old needed to have the leg – not the one marked, the other one – removed due to previous issues with another innless.
But that was supposed to the be the left leg, while the doctor had marked the right one.
The mishap operation took place in Freistadt Hospital in May.
It was only once a nurse was doing routine rounds that the mistake was spotted, and a hospital official said that it was a “result of a sequence of unfortunate circumstances”.
The defendant claims it was just “human error”, and she “didn't know” how it was allowed to happen, but that it was also a “result of a systematic problem rather than individual error”
She said: “Errors in surgical planning had taken place because no page information was given in the patient file, which is why a review was not possible.”
The judge found her guilty of gross negligence and was fined more than £2,300 – half of which was suspended.
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The court has also awarded £4,000 in damages to the now-widow of the man who had his wrong leg taken.
It is believed that he had died just before the case came to court.
Shortly after the incident, the surgeon involved was moved to another clinic, and has been told that she can appeal the decision.
The management of the hospital has also that “the causes and circumstances of this medical error have been analysed in detail”, internal procedures discussed with the team and training provided.
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