A hospital in Florida was the center of a recent story in the news, suggesting that its infant mortality rate after heart surgery was triple the national average. A major news network reported the percentages, claiming that six out of 48 babies did not survive heart surgeries at the facility between 2011 and 2013. In similar cases throughout the state and across the nation, hospital negligence is sometimes suspected as a cause of patient death.
Where infant open heart surgeries are concerned, a spokeswoman from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration said that -- when adjusted to include a risk factor -- the agency's evaluation shows that the hospital's infant death rate is just slightly above the national average, not triple, as the news report suggested. It was mentioned that there are various types of infant open heart surgeries, and depending upon the type, a higher risk of mortality might be involved. When deducing an average death rate, these risks should be considered in order to produce more accurate assessments.
It was also reported, however, that the mother of an infant who died after heart surgery at the Florida hospital was told that her baby was the first to die after that type of surgery at the facility. In fact, other information provided suggests that the woman's child was the fourth to die under similar circumstances at the hospital. The AHCA representative told reporters that she does not know how CNN, the network that broadcast the original story, arrived at its percentages. She noted her agency's numbers were much lower than those suggested by the news station.
Any parent who suffers the death of an infant after medical surgery would be understandably concerned and most likely want to make sure that hospital negligence was not a factor in the child's death. In circumstances where medical error has occurred, a parent or legal guardian has the right to pursue legal action against the negligent party or parties. A legal professional with experience in medical malpractice cases would be able to litigate a claim and seek compensation for damages sustained against those deemed liable in a patient's death.
Source: palmbeachpost.com, "CNN puts St. Mary's infant heart surgery deaths at 3x national average", June 3, 2015