Vienna, Austria |:
An Austrian court has fined a surgeon for amputating the wrong leg of an elderly patient, a spokesman for the court in the northern city of Linz said on Wednesday.
While the 43-year-old defendant said his actions were due to a “human error”, the judge found her guilty of gross negligence and fined her 2,700 euros ($ 3,060), with half of the amount suspended, the spokesman said.
The surgeon had marked the wrong leg of the 82-year-old patient for amputation before the operation in May in the central city of Freistadt, noting the mistake only two days after the surgery.
The court awarded 5,000 euros in damages plus interest to the patient’s widow, who died before the case went to court.
The surgeon said there was a defect in the control chain in the operating room. Since then, he has moved to another clinic and may appeal the decision.
The management of the institution involved stated in a statement that “the causes and circumstances of this medical error were analyzed in detail”, internal procedures discussed with the team and the training provided.
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