View Full Version : Doctor Amputates Wrong Foot

01-25-2010, 06:24 PM
Doctors in Peru mistakenly amputated the wrong foot of an 86-year-old man, then had no choice but to cut off the other one as well to keep an infection from spreading.

"It was a terrible shock when I lifted up the sheets and saw they had amputated his left foot," the patient's daughter, Carmen Villanueva, told RPP radio on Monday.

She said doctors in the port city of Callao had been attending to an ulcer on Jorge Villanueva's right foot since January 4.

When the infection worsened on Saturday, they ordered the ill-fated emergency surgery. Realising their mistake, doctors performed a second operation the following day that left Villanueva footless.

The Sabogal Hospital said in a statement that it suspended the doctors involved while it investigates.

Health Minister Oscar Ugarte confirmed the mistaken amputation, saying: "Without a doubt this should be punishable. ... It is a sad situation, and we have asked for an investigation."

Carmen Villanueva said her family plans to sue.

01-25-2010, 06:28 PM
Sadly this is not unheard of, so when anyone I know is facing side-specific surgery, I tell them to have it marked - THIS SIDE or something in magic marker!

Laura's Babies
01-25-2010, 06:30 PM
Here, when my daughter had shoulder surgery, they had HER mark the shoulder that was to be operated on with a marker before they took her to OR...

01-25-2010, 07:38 PM
When I accompanied a former PT member in for surgery they drew a sad face on the knee that needed surgery with permanent marker.
That is so sad. I'm so thankful I've never had a major surgery of any kind.

01-25-2010, 07:59 PM
Gosh, one foot in the grave already was bad enough...

01-25-2010, 08:31 PM
When I had my foot operated on they asked me at least ten times which foot was getting the surger and they put a sleave on the wrong leg and marked good leg.

01-25-2010, 09:01 PM
From Hospital Review

Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I., has been fined $150,000 by the Rhode Island Department of Health for a wrong-site surgery, marking only the second time the Department has fined a hospital for this kind of error, according to a report from WPRI News.

On Oct. 23, surgeons began to operate on the incorrect finger of a patient, and the mistake was discovered and corrected, according to the report. This is the fifth wrong-site surgery at Rhode Island Hospital since 2007.

01-26-2010, 03:56 PM
I think it's almost standard operating procedure anymore for doctors here in the U.S., to mark the surgery site. I know the last few surgeries that I had that weren't emergencies, I had to go to the doctor's office the day before and be "marked".

01-26-2010, 06:17 PM
When I was to begin my breast reconstruction surgery, a couple of years after my left-breast mastectomy, the doctor drew all over my chest with a black marker just what was to go where. ..Even though I should think he couldn't POSSIBLY have gotten confused over which side was to get done!

01-27-2010, 02:55 PM
Someone should have written with a Sharpie or a magic marker "NOT this one" on the healthy limb.:eek:

How tragic and utterly stupid.:eek:

01-27-2010, 03:31 PM
When I had my thumb joint replaced, I had to mark the thumb to be operated on. AND they asked me (what seemed like a million times) which one was to be done. Once the bandages came off, I saw that the doctor had "autographed" it with his signature! When I asked about it, I was told that it was just another precaution used. The doctor reviews the chart, and then he writes his signature on the body part to be operated on. This way, if there is any "problem" (ie. operating on the wrong side) the doctor WILL be liable! If I remember correctly, that was a procedure put in place by either that particular hospital or the doctor group. I can't remember for certain.

I am so sorry for the gentleman who had the wrong foot amputated. I am glad the family will be seeking legal advice and while no amount of money can bring the foot back, at least there will be some ramification for the doctor.

finn's mom
01-27-2010, 04:36 PM
That's terrible! Especially since it sounds like the "bad" foot was visibly infected! :( David just recently had surgery on his hip. David and the doctor both initialled the side to be operated on. I think it's a great, effective, simple and inexpensive way to avoid potential issues.