News 22 May 2023

Surgeon sacked after getting cleaner with no medical experience to help with amputation

22 May 2023

A shocking incident at Mainz University Medical Centre in Germany has come to light, revealing that a surgeon enlisted the help of a staff cleaner during an amputation procedure.

The incident, which occurred in 2020, resulted in the immediate termination of the surgeon’s employment after initially being given a warning, according to a report from local paper Allgemeine Zeitung.

The hospital authorities have confirmed that the cleaner held the patient’s leg and offered a swab to the surgeon during the operation.

Although the surgery did not result in any complications for the patient, the use of an untrained cleaner instead of a qualified assistant raises serious concerns about patient safety and proper medical protocols.

The patient, under local anaesthesia, became restless as the surgeon prepared to remove their little toe, so they called upon the cleaner to aid in the procedure.

Shockingly, the cleaner had no medical training whatsoever. It is not known whether they – who worked for an external company – were fired as well.

The surgery was originally intended to be performed by two doctors, but they were called away for an emergency procedure. Another doctor stepped in and rather than waiting for a qualified assistant, the surgeon proceeded with the cleaner’s assistance.

Norbert Pfeiffer, the hospital’s chief executive, expressed deep regret over the incident to the paper, acknowledging the individual misconduct and failure of the specialist physician.

He emphasised the hospital’s commitment to patient safety and stressed that the patient involved in this incident was unharmed.

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