Police investigate leg surgery mix-up

Tyrolean crime investigators have began investigating surgeons who amputated a woman’s healthy leg by mistake before removing her other one.It emerged last week that bungling doctors amputated the woman’s healthy leg after she visited the clinic because of a serious vascular dysfunction. Surgeons were then forced to remove the diseased leg after realising their mistake.Local media claimed the hospital initially tried to cover up the blunder as the operation happened three weeks before being made public. A spokeswoman for the clinic however claimed the 90-year-old patient’s family appealed to hospital bosses not to make the case public.Norbert Kaiser, head of the hospital in St. Johann in Tirol, said today (Weds) the clinic had handed over the patient’s file to police. He added that an external experts commission had also started investigating the scandal.Kaiser stressed that the hospital supported a full clarification of the dramatic error, adding that the doctor suspected of being responsible for the mix-up had been suspended.He said state prosecutors had to decide whether the surgeon would face charges.The incident spurred a nationwide debate over introducing a general pre-surgery safety check system to reduce the risk of similar mistakes.