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Doctor fined for amputating wrong leg of patient

Doctor fined for amputating wrong leg of patient

A surgeon in Austria has been fined after amputating the wrong leg of a patient.

The elderly patient’s right leg was removed instead of his left by a female surgeon, with the mistake only discovered two days later in a tragic event that happened in May 2021..


On Wednesday, December 1, a court in Linz, Austria found the 43-year-old guilty of gross negligence and fined her €2,700 (£2,296).


Doctor fined for amputating wrong leg of patient

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


The mistake was identified during a routine bandage change after which the patient was told he would have to have his other leg amputated as well.

At the time of the incident, the hospital said the mistake had occurred as a “result of a sequence of unfortunate circumstances”. 

In court, the surgeon said there had been a flaw in the chain of command in the operating theatre.

When asked why she had marked the right leg and not the left, she said: “I just don’t know”.


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