Inquest into the death of UHCW brain surgery patient concludes

03 July 2020

Coventry Coroner found the method used by Mr Hussien El-Maghraby, consultant neurosurgeon at UHCW NHS Trust, to remove a benign brain tumour contributed to the death of Stephen Bridgman.

The inquest into the death of 62-year-old retired computer systems consultant Stephen Bridgman, from Redditch, concluded at Coventry coroner’s court on Friday 3 July 2020 and returned a narrative verdict that confirmed: 

Mr Bridgman died from a complication arising from a necessary surgical procedure to remove a meningioma. It is likely that this post-operative bleed resulted from the surgical technique adopted which did not identify the vessels which avulsed on the removal of the tumour. The Trust referred Mr El–Maghraby to the GMC on 15 June 2020 as they felt that the evidence considered warranted this step. 

Mr Bridgman underwent surgery to remove a meningioma, which is a benign form of brain tumour, on 13 September 2016. The surgery was performed by Mr Hussien El–Maghraby, consultant neurosurgeon at UHCW. Due to the negligent way in which the tumour was torn out of the brain in one piece rather than being carefully dissected, several vessels in the cavity were torn, leading to uncontrollable bleeding. Despite two further procedures to attempt to stem the bleeding, Mr Bridgman died on 28 October 2016 following a period of being in a comatosed state with complications including fluid on the brain.

UHCW NHS Trust, responsible for the acts or omissions of Mr El-Maghraby in terms of his employment in the NHS, has admitted that the operation was negligently performed and if the procedure had been performed correctly, Mr Bridgman would not have died. They are responsible for the acts or omissions of Mr El-Maghraby as he performed the surgery in his capacity as an NHS Consultant.

Mr El-Maghraby disputed the admission of negligence and attempted to defend his actions before the coroner. However, the Coroner obtained independent expert evidence, including a report from an eminent neurosurgeon. This report suggests that the only reason why a neurosurgeon would choose to remove a meningioma in the manner in which Mr El-Maghraby did, is “haste over following standard micro surgical procedures”.

He also states that the way that Mr El-Maghraby performed the operation carried a “foreseeable, almost entirely avoidable and unacceptable risk of causing vascular injury leading to the inevitable haemorrhage and death”.

Mrs Amanda Bridgman, the widow of Mr Bridgman, who has been grieving and fighting for justice since Steven’s death, said: “The fact that Mr El–Maghraby appears to have no insight into his failings surely makes him an extremely dangerous individual. If he actually does understand how much death and disability he has caused and wants to continue in the same vein then surely he is deliberately harming patients. It is also concerning that the Trust appear not to have carried out a detailed statistical review of Mr El-Maghraby’s patient outcomes/rate of complications as recommended in the report prepared by the Royal College of Surgeons in January 2018. If this audit has not been done and any problems addressed then the Trust in my opinion has not done all in its power to prevent further deaths and disability, which would exacerbate my concern of avoidable complications/deaths. I do not want any other family to suffer like we have.”

Kashmir Uppal, medical negligence partner at Shoosmiths and the family’s solicitor, said: “To maintain patient safety in both the NHS and private sector, it is extremely important that doctors who do not have the requisite experience to carry out complex surgical procedures, are prevented from operating and that they acknowledge where further training and supervision is required. It is even more important that doctors who simply do not have the competence to carry out surgery are removed from both the NHS and private sector. We are now representing 7 clients, including Judith Mills, who have suffered life changing injuries as a result of brain and spinal surgery performed by Mr El-Maghraby, and that is 7 too many for no action to be taken to protect patients.”

Media coverage

BBC News - Midlands Today (3 July 2020):



This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024

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