Glasgow & West Scotland

Ayr Hospital surgeon amputated leg with 'rusty hacksaw'

Ayr Hospital Image copyright Not specified

A hospital surgeon allegedly used a "rusty hacksaw" to amputate a patient's leg after attempting to get a suitable instrument from B&Q.

The Ayr Hospital surgeon was cutting into the pensioner's limb when the knife struck a metal plate in his leg.

After B&Q was found to be closed, the operation went ahead with the sterilised saw found in a storage area.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran said it was investigating an incident "where standard procedures were not followed".

A health board source said: "An elderly man who was a patient at Crosshouse Hospital needed a leg amputation and was taken to Ayr Hospital for the operation, because that's where the vascular surgeons are based.

"The operating theatre was prepared, he was anaesthetised and the operation began but it was halted after the surgeon had difficulty cutting further.

"That's when he discovered he'd hit a metal plate that they didn't know about. So he frantically sought advice from the consultant orthopaedic surgeon, who suggested going to B&Q."

'Simply incredible'

However, the store was closed because the operation was being carried out after 21:00 so the surgeon decided to use the saw which was from old hospital stock."

The source added: "The saw was sterilised by soaking in some disinfectant solution and the surgeon proceeded to complete the amputation after cutting through the metal plate.

"If this is a proper investigation it should be shared with all as learning. This should never have happened. I have never come across anything similar in my career."

It is understood the patient and his relatives were told about what happened some time after the incident.

Scottish Conservatives health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said: "This is simply incredible - an indescribable way to treat any patient.

"Despite the UK's advances in modern medicine this episode has all the finesse of improvised surgery on Nelson's flagship during the Battle of Trafalgar.

"I would hope that NHS Ayrshire and Arran thoroughly investigates this as a matter of urgency."

Ann Gow, the board's interim nurse director, said in a statement: "NHS Ayrshire and 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."

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