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Vietnam doctor faces disciplinary action for wrong-leg surgery

Saturday, August 08, 2015, 09:58 GMT+7

Le Nguyen Quoc Hao was supposed to have his left leg undergone a minor surgery, but it was the limb on the other side that eventually received the treatment.

Doctor Bui Vinh Phuc, who performed the operation for the six-year-old patient at the general hospital of the southern Vietnamese province of Vinh Long on July 29, is facing disciplinary action for the wrong-side surgery, the hospital director Nguyen Thanh Nhom said Friday.

Hao was admitted on July 27 and was later scheduled for an operation on his left leg, to be performed by doctor Nguyen Minh Luan, according to his medical records.

But as Luan had to perform an appendicitis surgery before the operation of Hao, he asked Phuc to cover the case of the six-year-old boy.

Phuc agreed and eventually performed the surgery on the right leg of Hao.

The change of doctor to perform the operation for Hao was reported to, and approved by the surgery department, according to the involved doctors.

But the hospital’s board of directors did not get the memo.

“The wrongdoings in this case is that the doctors failed to report to neither the board of directors nor the family of the patient,” hospital director Nhom said.

The hospital will thus hold a meeting to determine the disciplinary action for Phuc, who directly performed the wrong-side surgery, Nhom said.

The hospital director, however, added that the right leg of Hao must undergo a surgery anyway.

“Doctors had found signs of necrosis in his right leg before the surgery,” he elaborated.

“So Hao must have both of his legs undergo surgeries, but if we did it at the same time, it would badly affect his health.”

Nhom said if Hao still wants to have his left leg undergo a surgery at his hospital, he will perform the operation on his own.

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