Surgeon fined $3,000 for amputating wrong leg

Originally published at: Surgeon fined $3,000 for amputating wrong leg | Boing Boing

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I was in for leg / hip surgery a couple of years back and they had me write on my leg to as to help ensure no mistakes. Definitely something they’ve had happen before.


$3k for a leg, I use that cash to take out full page adds in the local paper…


They should take that leg and rig it up so that it kicks the doctor in the ass for eternity.


Well this is a real world fear. If they ever have to lop off this POS leg, I will be writing all over both legs with sharpie the day before.


when i went in for knee surgery, the nurse draw a circle around the correct knee in sharpie. seems like the most direct way to avoid a mistake.


Seems like the more important mark is to write “NO” on the wrong knee. If the surgeon never looks at the correct limb, he or she may simply assume that the limb hasn’t been marked.


heh “sharpie”… so go in for surgery for a detached retina, sitting in chilly pre-op, and in comes the surgeon with a sharpie at the ready. “Which eye?” “uh… dis one [gestures at right eye]” A large black dot is drawn above my right eyebrow “…just so we do the correct eyeball”. ah.


I think it is more common in the nightmares of surgeons than in real life. Carpenteters go for “measure twice and cut once”, but in a situation like this it’s more like “check ten times before cutting”.

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also a good method. seems like the first thing the surgeon would do is lift the sheet and look at both knees and check for the mark, but i guess we can’t safely assume anything.


Completely unrelated, I’m sure. :nauseated_face:

…the judge found her guilty of gross negligence and fined her €2,700 ($3,060), with half the amount suspended.

ryan reynolds hd GIF

“Oh, you hacked off the wrong leg, but at least you got a leg.” :man_shrugging:


My dad had back surgery a few years ago, they marked him front and back with a sharpie.

I wonder how many mistakes had to be made before the sharpie thing became standard procedure.

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Estimated to happen hundreds of times per year.


my doc did lop off the correct limb when I had my BKA. yes, there was much sharpie writing before surgery and at least half a dozen nurses, doctors and anesthesiologist all asking me - repeatedly - “which leg are we operating on?” I felt pretty sure they were going to do the right one (it was the right leg).

but… only 3grand for cutting off the wrong one!!! WTAF?!!!


That make sense, mark no on the wrong side.

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I remember reading about similar cases in the U.S… When someone goes gangrenous due to loss of blood supply to the legs caused by acute diabetes or some similar ailment it’s often the case that both legs look pretty messed up and it’s not obvious at a glance which one needs to go. Thus the multiple layers of safety checks and confirmations (including the “yes/no” sharpie marks) that are standard procedure at most modern hospitals.


Had a big black arrow on my forehead pointing to the correct eye, when my detached retina was being dealt with. Hard to miss. And both eyes are, of course, visible together.

Limbs? Yeah, I’d mark the wrong one with a big ‘not this one’ myself!


Only works if not followed by ‘1’ when having a multiple limbectomy

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