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Children’s Hospital Announces Drop in Deaths from Heart Surgery

San Jose, Costa Rica – Fewer children with deformities of the heart die after being operated on by thoracic surgeons Cardiac Unit at the Hospital Nacional de Niños (HNN).  According to his data, operative mortality increased from 19% to 8%, from 2010 to April this year, according to experts.  The hospital also claims that the complexity of cases has remained the same and that their has been no drop off in the types of surgeries preformed.

This surgical mortality rate represents the percentage of children with cardiac malformations, who died within 30 days after surgery due to complications.

In 2010, surgeons Cardiac Unit operated on 172 children, and 37 died. (19% mortality).

From June 2011 to April this year, a group of 146 children were admitted to cardiac surgery, of which 12 died. (8%).

“We have seen, the result of the actions, positive results (…) the surgery surgical mortality decreased by 50%,” said the medical center director, Rodolfo Hernandez.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Surgery, Gerardo Mora said that depart from the mortality rate of 19% included in a study of the Ombudsman (who investigates ex officio), to indicate the current reduction to 8%.

However, Health Minister Daysi Corrales notes that can not be taken as official data from the Office of the Ombudsman as a starting point to compare this indicator.

“The Ombudsman is not an official body in health, although the study was prepared by a specialist,” he said last night at The Nation .

He added that revised data submitted by the authorities yesterday at Children’s Hospital.

“The Ministry of Health (incenses) will review the data.

In 2010, The Nation reports published report of high mortality in surgery performed on patients with malformations of the heart.

The complaints were lodged by intensive care physicians, who attended the recovery process of patients.

To date, intensivists keep their doubts about the results presented by the authorities of the medical center.

“There is a decline in mortality, so say the data, but in March, were in charge of the children in the Cardiac Unit, and note that operate on patients with malformations of less complexity and the risk of death is less” said Aristides Baltodano, intensive care medical center.

His opinion was shared by his colleague Victor Perez: “We have confidence in their statistics.”

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