From the blog

AUSTRIA: Doctor Fined For Amputating Patient’s Wrong Leg

A surgeon in Austria who amputated an elderly patient’s wrong leg has been fined €2,700 for gross negligence.

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

The elderly patient’s right leg was removed instead of his left in a clinic in Freistadt last May, the mistake was not discovered until two days later.

The 43-year-old Doctor marked the wrong limb for amputation, a mistake later identified during a routine bandage change and the patient was told he would have to have his other leg amputated as well.

At the time, the hospital said the incident had occurred as a “result of a sequence of unfortunate circumstances”. Its director made a public apology at a news conference.

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”.

Since the incident, she has moved to another clinic. Half of her fine has been suspended.