Wrong leg amputation docs sentenced

A doctor who faced several years in jail for mistakenly removing a woman’s healthy leg got away with just a fine yesterday (Mon).Suspended surgeon Raimund V., 61, was sentenced to pay a fine of 10,000 Euros and 5,000 Euros to the victim, a 91-year-old pensioner. His colleague Klaus B., 40, was fined 7,200 Euros for putting down the wrong leg in the pre-operation information sheet.The toes or Maria O.’s left leg had turned black because of the serious vascular dysfunction she was suffering from when she was hospitalised at a clinic in St. Johann in the province of Tyrol in June. Raimund V., however, amputated her right leg, following his colleague’s incorrect information.It emerged in the Provincial Court in Innsbruck that a nurse pointed out it was not ideal considering possible mix-ups that both of the patient’s legs were bandaged when she arrived at the clinic.St. Johann hospital chiefs have decided to introduce an eight-step checking system before all surgical operations to avoid similar blunders in the future. Clinics across Europe recently started setting up similar systems.They were criticised for initially trying to cover up the error by hiding behind their Hippocratic Oath and claiming medical confidentiality before confirming newspaper reports.A cancer sufferer whose healthy kidney was removed by incompetent doctors at a clinic in Carinthia is, meanwhile, expected to make a full recovery.Surgeons at Klinikum Klagenfurt took out the 59-year-old man’s unharmed right kidney instead of the cancer-stricken left one earlier this month.Bernd Stöckl, medical head of the hospital, told the Kurier newspaper today: “The patient has undergone another operation. He is doing fine.”Stöckl explained that doctors managed to remove the tumour while leaving the affected organ in during the second surgery. He explained cancer-riddled kidneys were normally removed as a whole.”If everything goes well, the patient may leave the hospital as a healthy man,” Stöckl said.The doctor responsible for the dangerous mix-up in the first surgery was not suspended, he added.The surgeon could have a trial as state prosecutors have started investigating the incident.