Surgeon suspended over claims he branded a patient's liver
A surgeon is under investigation after being accused of burning his initials onto a patient's liver during a transplant operation
Published 25/12/2013 | 08:40
A surgeon has been suspended after allegedly branding his initials into a transplant patient's liver.
Consultant Simon Bramhall, 48, is accused of burning 'SB' onto a patient's liver as he operated on him.
The letters were spotted by a colleague during routine surgery on the unnamed patient.
It is now feared the letters may have been imprinted onto hundreds of other transplant recipients.
Mr Bramhall has worked at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, West Mids, for more than ten years.
An insider said: “It is quite astonishing to think someone may have done this, especially someone as experienced at Mr Bramhall.
“I am hoping this is just a mistake, I don't know what would possess someone to do that to another human being.
“What gives a person the right to do that to another?
“There should be trust between the two people, although now people may think otherwise about coming to the hospital if the allegations are true.
“I'm just a little shocked that something like this may have happened right under everyone's noses.
“Imagine if the person died and was an organ donor, would the new owner of that liver want it to be branded? I doubt it very much.
“It could have happened hundreds of times, who knows? It was just luck that this incident was brought to light.”
Mr Bramhall, from Redditch, Worcs, is now under investigation over the alleged offences.
It is suspected the surgeon used a beam of argon gas, used for sealing vessels, to mark his patient.
Experts say it would leave superficial burns but is not usually harmful.
Joyce Robins, of Patient Concern, added: “This is a patient we are talking about, not an autograph book.”
University Hospitals Birmingham Trust said it “suspended a surgeon while an internal investigation is completed.”
When approached, Mr Bramhall denied he was suspended.