UK doctors often perform relatively well and many patients are at least satisfied with the service that they get. An investigation, however, is currently underway after a surgeon in a Scottish-based hospital was reported to have used a rusty hacksaw to amputate a patient's leg because the local hardware store was closed.

The case involved an elderly male patient who was supposed to undergo a routine operation at the Ayr Hospital. The medical team, however, did not expect to find a metal plate in his leg preventing them from proceeding with the operation.

Because the medics were not able to find the needed equipment for the metal plate, a staff member went to B&Q branch nearby. However, since the operation was carried out after 9 p.m., the DIY store was closed for the night.

As a last option, the surgeon reportedly decided to use an old and rusty hacksaw stocked in the hospital cupboard and used this to perform the amputation. The procedure, which was halted as the medical team weighed on their options, was resumed after the old saw was found and it was realized that the blade can be used to cut through the metal plate.

A source said that the surgeon proceeded with the amputation after soaking the saw in some disinfectant solution.

"The saw was sterilised by soaking it in some disinfectant solution and the surgeon proceeded to complete the amputation after cutting through the metal plate," the source reported. "This should never have happened and I have never come across anything similar in my career." 

The staff members who were present later reported the incident to the management. The patient and his family, on the other hand, were only informed about what happened after the operation.

Jackson Carlaw, spokesman for Scottish Conservative, said that the incident is an indescribable way of treating a patient and said that NHS Ayrshire and Arran should hopefully conduct thorough investigation on the matter. NHS Ayrshire & Arran interim nurse director Ann Gow said in a statement that an inquiry is already underway.

Gow noted that a significant adverse event review (SAER) is already being conducted and that the results of the review and subsequent recommendations will be shared with the patient's family and clinicians.

Adverse events are those instances that are indicative that a patient was given poor quality care. These are widely used as quality measurement in healthcare to make improvements.

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