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Surgeon Amputates Patient's Wrong Leg, Says "I Don’t Know" How It Happened
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Surgeon Amputates Patient's Wrong Leg, Says "I Don’t Know" How It Happened

The patient died from reasons not related to the amputation and his widow was awarded $5,666 in damages.

Cover image source: Getty Images | Morsa Images
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A surgeon has been fined for amputating the wrong leg of an elderly patient by mistake. The unnamed 43-year-old surgeon was fined over $3,000 by an Austrian Court on Wednesday, with half of the amount suspended. He was charged with "committing grossly negligent bodily harm" after operating on the 82-year-old man, said Walter Eichinger, the court's vice president, reported CNN. The incident happened on May 18 at a clinic in Freistadt in Austria where the surgeon "carried out an inadequate clarification with the existing medical records and the photo documentation before the operation for the planned amputation of the left thigh and thus marked the right leg for the surgical intervention," said Eichinger on Thursday. 

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The hospital released a statement addressing the incident and called it a "tragic mistake, caused by human error." The doctors had marked the wrong leg prior to the procedure. “We are deeply shocked that on Tuesday, May 18, despite quality assurance standards, the wrong leg of an 82-year old man … was amputated,” said the clinic, reported New York Post. They added that the event occurred as a “result of a sequence of unfortunate circumstances.”