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Man has leg amputated after 'incomplete' assessment by paramedic

Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Kevin Allan today released a report which outlined how an elderly man had two amputations on one leg after an “incomplete” assessment by a paramedic.

A file image of surgeons operating on a patient in a hospital. Source: 1 NEWS

The report describes how the man, aged in his late 80s, had been working underneath a van for a few hours when his left leg became painful and numb. He rang for an ambulance and, after a clinical assessment on the phone, a paramedic and an emergency medical technician (EMT) attended the scene.

“The paramedic and the EMT assessed the man’s leg but did not remove the man’s sock during the assessment,” the report reads.

“They considered his pain was musculoskeletal and decided not to transfer him to hospital.

“The following day, the man awoke with severe pain and a blue foot and was admitted to hospital with an ischaemic left lower limb and required two amputations of his leg.”

According to the Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner, the paramedics assessment was “incomplete” and as a result the man wasn’t immediately taken to hospital.

The report states that the paramedic has since retired as a paramedic, and “has provided the man with a written apology”.

The full report can be read here.