A hospital in Germany has discovered a surgeon used one of the staff cleaners to assist in a toe amputation.
The Allgemeine Zeitung reports that the incident occurred back in 2020, with the surgeon in question fired from their position at Mainz University Medical Center in West Germany after initially being let off with a warning.
The local paper did not confirm if the cleaner was sacked by the Mainz hospital.
Thankfully, the procedure did not result in any complications for the patient.
Hospital authorities have confirmed the cleaner held the patient's leg and also offered a swab to the surgeon.
Usually, such a routine procedure could be performed alone, however the surgeon elected to have the cleaner help despite the surgery taking place in the mid-afternoon in a medical facility teeming with doctors.
The patient, who was undergoing the operation under local anaesthesia, became restless as the surgeon prepared to remove their little toe.
As they became restless, the surgeon called on the cleaner, a young woman from an external company, to help as they prepared to remove the appendage.
The woman had no medical training whatsoever.
The surgery was supposed to be carried out by two doctors, however the duo was called away to an emergency procedure with another doctor stepping in.
Hospital chief executive Norbert Pfeiffer told the Allgemeine Zeitung the surgeon decided to go ahead with what was a rather routine procedure despite not having the adequate support needed when no qualified assistant was available.
But, instead of the surgeon getting away with the sneaky workaround, the cleaner was spotted in the operating room with blood stained gauze bandages in their hand.
To make matters worse, Bild reported that German broadcaster Südwestrundfunk confirmed the surgeon and cleaner were caught mid-shortcut by none other than one of the hospital's directors.
Pfeiffer emphasised that the university hospital deeply regrets the 'individual misconduct and failure of the specialist and senior physician'.
"That shouldn't have happened," he said, before confirming the specialist practitioner was terminated after a trial before the labour court.
Pfeiffer has since assured the public that Mainz University Medicine is very committed to patient safety, with about 700,000 patients being treated at the facility each year.
The patient was not harmed in any way, shape or form, Pfeiffer stressed.Featured Image Credit: Evgeniy Kalinovskiy / Alamy Stock Photo. ADDICTIVE STOCK CREATIVES / Alamy Stock Photo