Child death hike halts hospital’s complex heart surgeries

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Complex pediatric heart surgeries will not be performed at North Carolina Children’s Hospital because of an increase in patient deaths.

The News & Observer of Raleigh quotes hospital officials as saying heart surgeons won’t do complicated procedures until an outside group can review its practices.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services launched an investigation into the Chapel Hill facility after a New York Times report published last month. The article included audio recordings in which cardiologists were alarmed at the number of child deaths.

UNC Health Care says it’s taking steps to restore confidence in its pediatric heart surgery program. The group says it’s developing an internal quality and safety reporting system. It also plans to create an advisory council for heart surgery patients and their families.

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Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com

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