A renowned liver, spleen and pancreas surgeon has pleaded guilty to marking his initials on the livers of two patients while performing transplant surgery, according to The Guardian.
Simon Bramhall, 53, admitted to two counts of assault in a hearing at Birmingham crown court on Wednesday.
The incidents took place on 9 February and 21 August of 2013. He pleaded not guilty to the more serious charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He was granted unconditional bail and will be sentenced on 12 January.
According to The Guardian, Prosecutor Tony Badenoch said, “It was an intentional application of unlawful force to a patient whilst anaesthetized. His acts in marking the livers of those patients were deliberate and conscious acts … It will be for others to decide whether and to what extent his fitness to practice is impaired.”
A colleague spotted the initials “SB” on an organ during follow-up surgery on one of Bramhall’s patients. He was suspended from his post as consultant surgeon at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth hospital soon after.
Bramhall used an argon beam which is used to stop livers from bleeding during surgery, to sign his initials into the patients’ organs.
The marks left by an argon do not negatively affect the organ’s function in any way, and usually disappear by themselves, according to the newspaper.
Bramhall received media attention in 2010 when he successfully performed transplant surgery using a liver that had been salvaged from a plane that crashed in foggy conditions at Birmingham airport.