A surgeon at an Austrian clinic has made the mistake of a lifetime that could potentially cost him his medical license after having accidentally amputated the wrong leg of an elderly patient.
'Sequence of unfortunate circumstances'
The 82-year-old man was suffering from a multitude of diseases that required him to have his left leg amputated confirmed the Freistadt Clinic in a statement:
We are deeply shocked that on Tuesday, 18 May, despite quality assurance standards, the wrong leg of an 82-year-old man … was amputated. Unfortunately the mistake, in which the right leg was removed instead of the left, occurred as a result of a sequence of unfortunate circumstances.
The clinic explained that they first noticed the mistake two days after the surgery was performed while changing the patients bandages. Norbert Fritsch, the clinic's medical director, said during a news conference:
We have to find out how this failure, this mistake could happen. I would like to apologise publicly here.
Second operation will soon take place
According to news reports, the patient did not initially realize that a mistake had taken place when the leg that was to be amputated was being marked due to the many illnesses he suffers from which have rendered him unable to articulate at certain moments.
The clinic is currently conducting a thorough investigation to piece together the chain of events that led to the mistake and has also promised to review its standards. The elderly man is now being offered psychological assistance and will have to soon undergo another operation to remove the original leg that was meant to be originally amputated.