Australian teen's thumb amputated, replaced with toe after bungled surgery

Australian teen has thumb replaced with toe after surgical error

An Australian teenager’s dream of becoming a professional cricket player was shattered after doctors at a hospital near Melbourne bungled a routine surgery for her injured thumb.

Britney Thomas, 17, was admitted into the Latrobe Regional Hospital in April 2018 with a fractured thumb for what should have been a routine surgery, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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A week later she returned to the hospital in excruciating pain and doctors discovered the tissue around her thumb had died after a tourniquet was left in place after the operation.

Surgeons then replaced her dead thumb with her big toe, and removed part of her hip to replace the bone in her foot, the ABC reported.

Thomas’ lawyer told the news broadcaster that “it was a basic error.”

“If you leave (a tourniquet) on and continue to restrict the blood flow to the thumb, it will die,” Maurice Blackburn said.

“It’s really Medicine 101 – it’s unacceptable and pretty hard to understand how that happened.”

After the surgery, Thomas was not able to bend her thumb and could not hold a cricket bat properly. She also missed so much school, she dropped out, News Corp Australia reported.

An investigation revealed "shocking cases of systemic failure in regional hospitals" around Australia, with routine injuries leading to serious illness and death, the ABC reported.