An elderly man in Austria has had the wrong leg amputated at a hospital in Austria after a “tragic” error.
The 82-year-old man was supposed to have his left leg removed on Tuesday, the Freistadt clinic said in a statement.
But shortly before the operation, the wrong limb was marked. The mistake was only discovered during the bandage change on Thursday.
The clinic – located near the Czech border – has described the incident as a “tragic treatment error” and has publically apologised.
The Upper Austrian health holding company has launched an investigation into the error, alongside the country’s public prosecutor’s office.
According to the company, the patient was suffering from many illnesses affecting his legs, one so severely that amputation was required.
“Unfortunately, due to a chain of unfortunate circumstances, the mistake happened,” a press release said.
“We assure you that we are doing our utmost to clarify the case and to review and question all internal procedures”.
The patient and his relatives had been offered psychological help, the company added. The elderly man also still needs to have his second leg removed for the original operation.