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Surgeon blamed beginner's bad luck for cardiac deaths

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 11 April 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1111
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    Janardan Dhasmana, one of two Bristol heart surgeons charged with serious professional misconduct over high mortality among child patients, last week blamed “beginner's bad luck” for some of the deaths.

    Mr Dhasmana told the General Medical Council that he had persuaded colleagues at Bristol Royal Infirmary to start up a programme of arterial switch operations for transposition of the great arteries in 1988. He and another surgeon at Bristol, James Wisheart, are accused of going ahead with operations despite concerns about high death rates. Mr Wisheart, who has already given evidence, is accused of misleading parents about the risks involved. Dr John Roylance, the trust's former chief executive, is charged with failing to use his authority to stop the operations.

    The case, which started in October and is not expected to end before June, is the most important to come before the council this …

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