A British surgeon was well-known in his home country as being a good doctor, until one of his colleagues discovered something spine-chilling regarding one of his former patients. The man had branded his initials on the livers of two patients, which led to him being suspended.
The man branded his initials on two livers
Simon Bramhall, 53, worked as a surgeon in Birmingham, at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. His colleagues and patients knew him as being one of the best doctors in the hospital, and everybody trusted him with regular procedures. However, the follow-up of two of his surgeries was performed by a different doctor, who discovered something frightening.
During these surgeries, which took place on February 9th and August 21st, 2013, Bramhall had branded the initials ‘SB’ on these patients’ livers. As soon as this was discovered, the hospital started an investigation. The man admitted his deed, and got suspended in December 2013. In May 2014, he resigned from the hospital.
The matter was brought to court, where Bramhall was found guilty of two assault counts. The inquiry revealed the man had used an argon beam for the branded livers. This is a tool generally used to stop the bleeding during surgery, or to make those areas which need to be operated on more visible.
The practice didn’t endanger the patients’ lives
The prosecutors labeled these two cases as abuse, as the man betrayed the patients’ trust. He admitted he had made a mistake, so this is why he agreed to resign from the hospital in May 2014. However, he didn’t put the life of the patients in danger.
Since they were made with an argon beam, the branded signs were not harmful. As the tool is typically used in surgeries, the marks it leaves on organs disappear after a period of time, without affecting their function.
However, the two discovered signs didn’t heal properly, which allowed them to be spotted by the other surgeon. This still didn’t impair the function of the transplanted livers, and some patients even showed their support, blaming the hospital for suspending Bramhall.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons