Post-Op Handling Key To Better Heart Surgery On Kids

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 5:11am
Crystal Phend

Centers experienced in congenital heart surgery appear to boost survival rates by doing a better job of handling post-operative complications, researchers found.

The rate of complications after pediatric heart surgery wasn't lower at centers with higher volume, Sara K. Pasquali, MD, MHS, of Duke University Medical Center, and colleagues reported in the February issue of Pediatrics.

But when they did occur, the odds of dying were 59 percent lower when treated at a hospital that handles more than 350 cases per year compared with one seeing fewer than 150 per year (P=0.004).

The survival advantage was particularly pronounced for children undergoing higher risk surgeries.

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