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Man, 84, suffers operation on healthy leg

DOCTORS in a central Chinese hospital hadn't got a leg to stand on – they were sacked after implanting a steel rod into the healthy left leg of an 84-year-old patient who broke his right limb.

The man had to suffer a second operation to remove the steel rod and a third to implant it into his broken leg, today's Shanghai Morning Post reported.

Hubei Province medical authority has given its Tongcheng Health Bureau chief a demerit, sacked the surgeon and hospital officials, and suspended the license of the doctor in charge, the newspaper said.

Zhao Rongbing, a Tongcheng native, was taken to Tongcheng County Chinese Traditional Medicine Hospital in Xianning City after breaking his right leg in a fall on November 11.

Doctors decided to implant a steel peg in the bone to repair the damage, but the doctor in charge mistakenly noted in his medical record that his left leg was fractured. The surgeon failed to double check and implanted an 85mm nail into the bone, the report said.

Zhao's family discovered the mistake when they found his healthy left leg was swathed in bandages after the operation.


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