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Paediatric cardiac surgical mortality after Bristol

BMJ 2004; 330 doi: (Published 30 December 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;330:43

Paediatric cardiac hospital episode statistics are unreliable

  1. John L Gibbs, lead clinician for congenital heart disease, central cardiac audit database (,
  2. David Cunningham, project manager, central cardiac audit database,
  3. Marc de Leval, professor of cardiac surgery,
  4. James Monro, consultant cardiac surgeon,
  5. Bruce Keogh, professor of cardiac surgery
  1. Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds LS1 3EX
  2. National Clinic Audit Support Programme, NHS Information Authority, Tavistock House, London WC1H 9JR
  3. Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London WC1N 3JH
  4. Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO16 6YD
  5. University College Hospital, London

EDITOR—The lack of accuracy of the hospital episode statistics used by Aylin et al to analyse the paediatric cardiac surgical mortality in England after Bristol is worrying.1 Indeed, Aylin's group reported that hospital episode statistics “manifestly contain errors” and that their available data sources “have such clear limitations that one could ask whether any reliable conclusions can be drawn.”2 We have also shown hospital episode statistics data …

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