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Surgeon uses 'rusty hacksaw' to amputate leg after hospital staff found B&Q was closed

'This is simply incredible – an indescribable way to treat any patient'

Alexander Ward
Sunday 24 May 2015 16:51 BST
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The surgeon at the Ayr Hospital did not realise that the patient had a metal plate in his leg
The surgeon at the Ayr Hospital did not realise that the patient had a metal plate in his leg

A Scottish hospital is carrying out an investigation into claims a surgeon used a “rusty hacksaw” to amputate an elderly man’s leg.

Although the incident began as a routine operation to amputate a pensioner’s leg, the surgeon unexpectedly found a metal plate in the limb.

Staff were unable to find equipment to remove the plate, so a team member was sent to the local B&Q store to buy a saw.

But, due to the late hour when the operation occurred, the shop was closed and a hacksaw was found in an old stock cupboard in the hospital.

The local B&Q shop was closed when the staff member attempted to buy a saw (credit: Adrian Dennis/ AFP) (Adrian Dennis/ AFP)

Senior management at the Ayr hospital were alerted by theatre staff who witnessed the procedure.

Last night, Jackson Carlaw, the Scottish Conservative health spokesman, told the Scottish Mail on Sunday: “This is simply incredible – an indescribable way to treat any patient.

“Despite the UK’s advancement in modern medicine this episode has all the finesse of improvised surgery on Nelson’s flagship during the Battle of Trafalgar.”

The Daily Record reported a hospital source said: “As B&Q was shut, the decision was taken to use a saw which was found in the old store cupboard.

“It was sterilised before being used, but highly skilled surgeons in Scotland in 2015 shouldn’t find themselves in the middle of an operation without the proper equipment.”

Ann Gow, Interim Nurse Director, told The Independent: “NHS Ayrshire & Arran is currently conducting a significant adverse event review (SAER) into a recent incident within University Hospital Ayr where standard procedures were not followed.

“The findings of this review and any subsequent recommendations will be shared with clinicians, as well as the family of the patient.”

The patient and his family have been notified.

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