Surgeon Fired After Getting Hospital Cleaner to Assist Amputation

Going under for surgery can be pretty terrifying and most of the time, the only relaxing thought about the process is that you’re in the hands of the best doctors. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for one patient in Germany who had a surgeon request the assistance of a hospital janitor.

The incident occurred at the Mainz University Hospital in Berlin, Germany, back in 2020. While the end result of the surgery didn’t cause any complications for the patient, the doctor has since been fired for what he did.

The hospital’s chief executive, Norbert Pfeiffer, said the surgeon wrongly decided to go ahead with the toe amputation even though no qualified assistant was available. Instead of waiting, when the patient, who had received a local anesthetic, became restless, the doctor asked a nearby cleaner to help.

The man was asked to hold the patient’s leg and pass surgical instruments to the surgeon during the routine procedure. The janitor had no previous medical experience.

The incident was only reported after a hospital manager spotted the cleaner with bloody gauze pads in his hand while in the operating theater. “This should never have happened,” Pfeiffer said.