After nine dead infants, hospital suspends surgeries

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’ve probably seen a story about CNN’s investigation into a hospital in Florida where nine babies died during heart surgery in the last four years. CNN’s investigation found that the hospital’s raw mortality rate for infant open heart surgery of 12.5 percent was over three times the national average. In the midst of this run of infant deaths, a doctor from Johns Hopkins conducted his own independent review of the hospital and what he found was frightening.

He discovered major systemic issues and recommended that the hospital stop performing the surgery. Sadly, the hospital chose to ignore the recommendation and two more children died, leaving behind devastated families and a host of questions. Finally, in light of the deaths and multiple evaluations, the hospital is conducting its own review using external experts. Thankfully, they’ve decided to suspend the elective form of these operations while the review is underway.

One expert said that many of these cases of hospital negligence happen because of the culture of the hospital itself. Do they allow everyone to voice safety concerns or second guess a surgeon? Is there a spirit of openness and dedication to giving the patient the best care possible, regardless of ego? Have they hired the right professionals and not cut corners on equipment and staff?

Sadly, for victims of hospitals with poor culture, it’s too late to get a loved one back. However, they may be able to speak with an attorney who may be able to help them get compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs and pain and suffering.

Source:, “Patient safety evaluated at St. Mary’s hospital,” Elizabeth Cohen, June 26, 2015

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