From the blog

AUSTRIA: Hospital Amputates Patient’s Wrong Leg

An elderly patient has had a wrong leg amputated in what the hospital called “tragic mistake” caused by human error.

The elderly patient whose identity was not made public is said to be suffering from many illnesses, the Freistadt Clinic, in a town near the Czech border, said in a statement that previous sicknesses have affected his legs, to the point that his left leg required amputation.

“We are deeply shocked that on Tuesday, May 18, despite quality assurance standards, the wrong leg of an 82-year old man … was amputated,” the clinic said, adding that the mistake was first noticed during a bandage change on Thursday morning.

The error appears to have been made shortly before the operation, when the leg that was to be amputated was marked, the clinic said.

“Unfortunately the mistake, in which the right leg was removed instead of the left, occurred as a result of a sequence of unfortunate circumstances,” it said, adding that it was investigating what happened and would review its standards.

The patient has been offered psychological assistance and must still undergo another operation to remove his left leg from mid-thigh.

“The operation is planned shortly,” the clinic said.