Claims surgeon branded patient’s liver lead to suspension and investigation

15 January 2014

Claims surgeon branded patient’s liver lead to suspension and investigation

Consultant surgeon Simon Bramhall is currently under investigation after it has been claimed that branded a patient’s liver during a transplant operation, burning his initials onto the organ during the actual operation.

Mr Bramhall has been suspended after the accusation was made that he burned in the initials ‘SB’ as he operated on him. It was only after a colleague noticed during the routine surgery that the alarm was raised with worries that Mr Bramhall may have imprinted his initial letters onto the livers of other patients who received similar such transplants.

Mr Bramhall has worked at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, West Midlands, for over 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.”

Surgical errors are an extremely serious matter and has specialist teams who can provide advice and guidance about what to do if you or a loved one have experienced this; you can make an official complaint or even start a medical negligence claim where there has been a level of surgical error that merits further investigation. can discuss your patient rights with you so you know exactly where you stand in such a matter.

Mr Bramhall, from Redditch, Worcs, is now under investigation over the alleged offences.

It is suspected Mr Bramhall used a beam of argon gas during the procedure to mark the unnamed patient. Argon gas is used for sealing vessels and whilst not harmful, does leave superficial burns.

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.” has a number of specialist teams who deal with surgery error negligence cases and who can provide advice, guidance and support regarding making an official complaint about a surgeon or a hospital and in starting a medical negligence compensation claim.