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December 1, 2009

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Patient had rod implanted in wrong leg

A SURGEON in a central Chinese hospital has been sacked and the doctor in charge had his license suspended after a steel rod was implanted into the healthy left leg of an 84-year-old patient.

The man now faces another two operations to correct the mistake, Shanghai Morning Post reported yesterday.

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 Rongbin, a Tongcheng native, was taken to Tongcheng County Chinese Traditional Medicine Hospital in Xianning City next day 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 the medical records that the left leg was fractured.

The surgeon failed to double check, the report said.

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

Zhao is in hospital in the province's capital, Wuhan, where the rod will be removed from his left leg and then implanted into his broken leg.


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