Hospital banned from doing neonatal heart operations

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 15 April 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:960

Bristol Royal Infirmary has suspended neonatal heart operations on instructions from the Department of Health after a damning report by independent investigators criticised the practices and the record of the surgical team. In the switch operation carried out to correct transposition of the great arteries it was found that one surgeon was associated with a mortality six times the national average in Britain, with nine out of 13 babies dying in 18 months.

The problems in the unit were first noticed by an anaesthetist, Dr Stephen Bolsin, in 1990. As well as losing 61% of the neonatal patients who had switch operations when the nationwide failure rate is about 10%, the unit had an overall …

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