Surgeon fired for having hospital janitor assist with amputation

A surgeon at the University Medical Center Mainz in Germany was fired after he enlisted a janitor to assist him with a toe amputation. Fortunately, the operation apparently went smoothly even though the physician clearly wasn't following standard operating (room) procedure.

According to the hospital boss, there wasn't anyone qualified available to assist the surgeon who was intent on getting the job done.

From the AP:

When the patient, who had received a local anesthetic, became restless the doctor asked a nearby cleaner to hold the man's leg and pass surgical instruments, according to local daily Mainzer Allgemeine Zeitung. The paper reported that the cleaner had no medical experience.

The incident came to light after a hospital manager spotted the cleaner — bloody gauze pads in hand — in the operating theater, it reported.

"This should never have happened," German news agency dpa quoted [hospital boss Norbert] Pfeiffer as saying.