It was appalling for a patient in Austria. After he woke up from anesthesia, he lost the wrong leg. During an operation in May 2021, an 82-year-old man had not the left but the right leg amputated at the hospital in Linz.
Because of this incident, the surgeon has now been sentenced to a fine of 2,700 euros, half of which has been suspended. The Linz Regional Court ruled that the 43-year-old doctor was guilty of negligent bodily harm. In the procedures, the doctor only admitted to having committed a “mistake”, but denied “gross negligence”.
The case concerns an 82-year-old patient who has since died and had his left leg amputated. Prior to the operation at Freistadt, the surgeon had marked the right leg and did not notice the error until two days after the amputation.
Control mechanisms were insufficient
In court, the 43-year-old said she had prepared for the operation days before she had it. “I knew I had to amputate my left leg,” says the doctor from heute.at Quoted. But why she dislocated her right leg after that, she could not explain.
The doctor said that this was a case of “human error” and that the control mechanisms for such interventions were inadequate. She is now working in another clinic.
The court awarded the patient’s widow, who appeared as a joint plaintiff, 5,000 euros in compensation for pain and suffering. The ruling is not yet legally binding. The doctor and the public prosecutor can appeal. The fact that the patient died now has nothing to do with a wrongly amputated leg. (AFP/JMH)
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