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Inquiry found surgeon had high death rate for operation

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7144.1553f (Published 23 May 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1553
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    An independent inquiry into paediatric cardiac surgery at Bristol Royal Infirmary found that James Wisheart, the senior surgeon, had a substantially higher death rate for one type of operation than his junior colleague, Janardan Dhasmana.

    The report, which did not name the surgeons, said that consultant 1 (Mr Wisheart) had a mortality of 87% for repairing atrioventricular canals, while the rate for consultant 2 (Mr Dhasmana) was only 8.6%. Mr Wisheart carried out eight such operations between 1992 and 1995 and seven of the patients died. For tetralogy of Fallot, Mr Wisheart had a 13.5% mortality, while Mr Dhasmana's was nil.

    But the report was amended before publication to remove any comparison between surgeons, the General Medical Council heard on the 54th day of its long running inquiry into allegations of serious professional misconduct against the two surgeons. Both are charged …

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