Woman operated on in the wrong ankle

Surgery AnkleSurgery should not be performed by tired staff. Photo: Pixabay.com

Surgery was performed on the wrong ankle in Arendal

A woman was admitted to the Sørlandet hospital in Arendal in November to have surgery on a ligament injury in her left ankle. When she woke up, it was discovered that the right ankle had been operated on.


– You are in a vulnerable position during surgery. You place your life in the hands of the staff in the operating theatre and expect the best, and not least, correct treatment. The incident has significantly reduced my confidence in the Norwegian health care system, Margarita Jeanett Johansen (30) tells VG.

She further states that days before surgery she underwent a preparatory examination, with markings added to her left ankle, and that those were still clearly visible when her right ankle was operated on.

As she woke up after the narcosis, she felt pain in her right leg and asked the doctor if they had operated on the correct ankle. They allegedly then discovered the mistake, and according to Johansen, and excused themselves by the fact that it was a Friday and that many thus were tired.

– If those who performed the surgery were so tired as to not notice a thick black arrow, they should not operate at all! she exclaims to the newspaper.

Head of Department at the hospital, Per Engstrand, writes in an email to VG that they have procedures to prevent such events from happening, saying that it is, therefore, safe to undergo surgery at the hospital.

– This is a serious event that should not have happened; And that we are very sorry for, he writes.

© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today