Danish media including newspaper Ekstra Bladet and broadcaster DR on Friday reported the high number of potentially avoidable, life changing procedures in the region.
An external investigation for the Central Jutland (Midtjylland) region found that treatments which could have averted amputations at the vascular disease department at Aarhus University Hospital were generally given at too late a stage of the patient’s disease.
Delayed treatment increases the risk of amputation.
“We can unfortunately not rule out that some people could have avoided amputation or delayed the need for amputation,” executive director Ole Thomsen said.
The hospital department at the centre of the report treats patients with diseases including arteriosclerosis and aneurisms in blood vessels.
“Up to 90 patients per year have undergone an amputation that could have been avoided,” Thomsen told DR.
Affected patients will be able to claim compensation, news wire Ritzau writes.
Patients who have undergone amputations within the last year will receive notification from the regional health authority on when they can file a claim.
“We are now informing vascular disease patients who have had a leg amputated at the hip, thigh, knee or lower leg within recent years in regard to their compensation and complaint options,” Thomsen said.
Most of the amputations are likely to have been performed with good reason according to the findings of the analysis, the health region said.
The external investigation was conducted at Aarhus University Hospital and the regional hospital in Viborg, where patients from the relevant department are treated. It found that some patients with arteriosclerosis or aneurisms were not treated quickly enough.
“I apologise sincerely for the situation we are in. The analysis clearly shows that vascular disease treatment must be improved,” the elected chairperson of the Central Jutland regional health board, Anders Kühnau in a press statement.
“I am ready to take up this agenda with the regional health council,” he said.
Work is already underway to improve the department, Thomsen said.
“We can’t treat patients quickly enough and I am very sorry for that. We owe it to patients to treat more people more quickly and to improve working relations between hospitals,” he said.