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Tuesday 19th June 2018

Heart transplants suspended

2nd November 2007

Heart transplants at a specialist hospital in England have been suspended after a rise in the early deaths of patients.

heart surgery

An internal audit showed that out of 20 adult heart transplant operations carried out at the Papworth Hospital near Cambridge, seven patients have died within 30 days of the operation.

That puts the early death rate at 35%, whereas the UK average death rate is 10% and the hospital’s normal rate is 7%.

Operations have been suspended on the advice of the Department of Health while the Healthcare Commission reviews the operations.

The hospital has stressed that lung transplants and other heart operations and procedures are being carried out as normal.

Chief executive Stephen Bridge said: “It’s expected 10% of heart transplant patients die within 30 days. We’ve normally been around 7%, so below the national average.

“We are talking comparatively small numbers but it was agreed it would be sensible for us to invite the Healthcare Commission to undertake an external review. If there are any improvements, we will implement them.

“The Department of Health has responded to this very quickly by sending in a team of independent experts to help us review our heart transplant service.  The review is being conducted to help us identify what, if any, action needs to be taken.

“We would like to reassure everyone this review applies to routine heart transplantation only.?

The hospital said that should an urgent case arise, clinicians in Papworth will discuss with the external advisors involved in the review how to manage the patients.


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