• The mistake was discovered only after two days
  • The patient was then instructed to get his other leg amputated, too
  • Since the incident, the doctor has been moved to another clinic

An Austrian court has found a doctor guilty of gross negligence for amputating the wrong leg of an 82-year-old patient.

Ahead of the operation that was conducted in May, the 43-year-old doctor marked the wrong leg of the patient for amputation but only noticed the mistake two days post surgery, according to The Guardian.

The mistake was discovered during a bandage change, and the patient was instructed to have his other limb amputated, too. Due to a previous illness, both legs of the now deceased patient were severely impaired, adds Austrian media Kurier.

The elderly patient was supposed to have his left leg surgically removed, but his right leg was cut off, instead. The incident occurred in the town of Freistadt in Upper Austria.

"I knew I had to amputate the left leg," the doctor said in court, adding that her mistake was a "human error." The unnamed medico repeated several times why she still marked the right leg before the operation, "I just don't know". However, "errors in surgical planning had taken place because no page information was given in the patient file, which is why a review was not possible," the defendant reported on the analysis of the incident.

On Wednesday, the court found the doctor guilty of gross negligence and was fined $3,049 (about £2,296). The widow of the patient, who passed away before the case came to court, was also awarded $5,660 (€5,000) in damages, BBC reported.

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The hospital said in a statement that “the causes and circumstances of this medical error have been analyzed in detail.”

“We are deeply shocked that on Tuesday, May 18, despite quality assurance standards, the wrong leg of an 82-year old man … was amputated,” the clinic said. They added that the event occurred as a “result of a sequence of unfortunate circumstances.”

Since the incident, the accused doctor has moved to another clinic and half of her fine was suspended.