Florida hospital to shut down child heart surgery program after reports of high mortality rate.
A hospital in Florida has decided to close down its child heart surgery program after an investigation revealed the facility had a higher than average death rate for infants, reports nydailynews.com.
The investigation, reported by CNN, stated that at least nine babies had died at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach pediatric cardiothoracic surgery program since 2011 and the program had a 12.5 percent mortality rate.
According to the report, a tenth baby was left paralyzed after an operation as well.
CNN says their calculations were based on information obtained through record requests, and independent confirmation of the infant deaths through the parents.
The hospital disagreed with CNN’s numbers, issuing a statement that said CNN’s calculations were “wrong”, “exaggerated”, and “completely erroneous.” The statement added the hospital’s program had similar results for risk-adjusted mortality rates compared to other programs nationwide, and was within the average range.
In announcing the decision, the hospital released a statement saying, “This is the decision of the hospital and not based on a decision or recommendation by the state of Florida or any regulatory agency.”
“The inaccurate media reports on our program have made it significantly more challenging to build sustainable volume in our program,” the statement continued.
“At this time we feel it is best to focus on other services needed by our community. We are proud of the work that has been done and the lives that have been saved.”
The report continues to say the chairman of an expert state panel recommended cessation of heart surgeries on babies younger than six months , and complex heart surgeries on all children at the facility in June of 2014.