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Austrian surgeon fined after accidentally amputating the WRONG leg

A surgeon in Austria has been fined after accidentally amputating the wrong leg.

The surgeon marked the incorrect limb on an 82-year-old patient ahead of the operation in May.

The 43-year-old surgeon, who carried out the operation in the town of Freistadt, said it was simple “human error” that caused her to mark the wrong leg.

A judge found her guilty of gross negligence and fined her 2,700 euros, or AUD $3,600.


Half the fine amount was suspended, however.

The widow of the patient, who died before the case came to court, has been awarded $7,900 in damages.

In court, the surgeon attributed the mistake to a flaw in the operating theatre’s “chain of control.”

A surgeon in Austria erroneously amputated the wrong leg. Credit: Shannon Fagan/Getty Images

She has moved to another clinic and can appeal the ruling.


The clinic where the amputation was performed said internal procedures had been reviewed and training provided to the team.

“The causes and circumstances of this medical error have been analysed in detail,” the clinic said in the statement.

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