'Arrogant' surgeon burned his initials onto patients' livers during transplants

He branded patients livers during procedures at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The eminent doctor described as one of the leading surgeon's in his medical field appeared for sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court on January 12 after he admitted two charges of assault at an earlier court appearance, claiming his actions were created to relieve tension during surgery.

An argon beam machine is created to seal bleeding blood vessels.

The consultant has been sentenced to a 12-month community order and fined £10,000 at Birmingham Crown Court.

Patient A said she was shocked to discover Bramhall had branded his initials on her during a life-saving operation.

But the donor liver failed around a week later - for reasons unconnected to its implantation - and another surgeon spotted Bramhall's initials on the organ. "He also said that in hindsight this was naive and foolhardy - a misjudged attempt to relieve the tension in theatre", Mr Badenoch said.

Simon Bramhall, 53, used an argon beam - usedto stop livers bleeding during operations and to highlight an area to be worked on - to sign "SB" into his patient's livers.

A judge at the city's Crown Court said Bramhall, who resigned from the hospital in 2014, had carried out an "an abuse of power and a betrayal of trust".

Bramhall pleaded guilty in December to two counts of assault by beating after pleading not guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

This case has been described as "unique" and "without legal precedent in criminal law".


Judge Paul Farrer QC said Bramhall had used the argon beam coagulator - created to seal bleeding blood vessels - to carry out an "an abuse of power" and a betrayal of trust.

Mr Ferguson said in one of the cases, the victim had suffered psychological harm.

Passing sentence, Judge Paul Farrer QC reportedly said: "Both of the (transplant) operations were long and hard".

An "arrogant" surgeon who burnt his initials on two patients' livers has avoided jail. "This was conduct born of professional arrogance of such magnitude that it strayed into criminal behavior".

Sky's Tom Parmenter, in court for the sentencing, said a "significant number of other former patients of Simon Bramhall were in court to show their support and gratitude". I accept that on both occasions you were exhausted and stressed and I accept that this may have affected your judgment.

Bramhall will now face the General Medical Council to find out whether he will be permanently prevented from practicing medicine or will be allowed to resume at some point.

"I accept that you didn't intend or foresee anything but the most trivial of harm would be caused".

The hospital called the incidents a "mistake" and said there was "no impact whatsoever on the quality of his clinical outcomes", the BBC reported.

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