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Surgeon: 'I was unlucky to lose patients'
Janardan Dhasmana
Janardan Dhasmana was barred from operating on children
Heart surgeon Janardan Dhasmana told the inquiry into the Bristol babies scandal he was "unlucky" to lose his first five patients in a complex operation.

Mr Dhasmana said he was "full of confidence" in his ability despite the initial 100% death rate and that he had been unlucky to be faced with patients who had pre-existing cardiac problems.

He was giving evidence for the second day at the inquiry, which is investigating heart surgery on babies at Bristol Royal Infirmary in the 12 years to 1995 and was set up after he and two other doctors were found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the General Medical Council.


I was full of confidence in my own work and what I was achieving

Janardan Dhasmana
Mr Dhasmana was also banned from operating on children for three years.

Speaking at the inquiry on Tuesday, he blamed his surgical team for being "unprepared" and "unprofessional" and he admitted he was anticipating a mortality rate of 20 to 30% for the complex arterial switch operation, rather than the actual 100% he experienced.

The operation reverses the arteries when babies are born with serious heart defects.

Asked by inquiry counsel Brian Langstaff QC if he ever considered stopping the procedure, he said: "Every time I lost a patient, I asked myself `did I do anything wrong?' I was always questioning myself.

"But at that time I was full of confidence in my own work and what I was achieving."

Unlucky

He added: "I felt I was unlucky to be confronted with so many problems." And he blamed cardiologists for not properly diagnosing problems.

"Some of the abnormalities I found out on the operating table. I had a set up that was not well rehearsed. I felt it was not professional."

The inquiry follows a GMC investigation into 53 operations in which 29 patients died and four were left brain-injured.

The GMC struck off Mr Dhasmana and medical director at United Bristol Healthcare Trust James Wisheart, and hospital manager Dr John Roylance.

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