After CNN reported that at least nine infants died after heart surgery between 2011 and 2013, Florida’s St. Mary’s Medical Center has announced it will permanently close its pediatric cardiothoracic surgery program. The 12.5% mortality rate within the program is reported to be three times higher than the national average.
The death rates were calculated by CNN by filing records requests and confirming the deaths with parents of the infants. In addition to the nine deaths, a tenth infant was paralyzed after receiving open heart surgery in the program.
Despite the medical center’s claims that the reporting is “wrong,” “exaggerated,” and “completely erroneous,” the mother of one child stated that her daughter’s “treatment at St. Mary’s hospital was far below the standard of care. It led to her death.” The hospital refused to respond to the complaint both to the mother and to the public.
According to recent studies, 200,000 to 400,000 Americans die each year from medical errors made by doctors and other medical professionals. The number is higher than the number of deaths caused by highway accidents, breast cancer, and AIDS. Have you or a loved one been injured due to medical error? Please share your story in a comment below.