Believe It Or Not—Busier Hospitals Are Better For Children Who Need Heart Surgery!

Hospitals, Surgery

A new study in the journal Pediatrics found that children who underwent heart surgeries at high-volume hospitals generally fare better than children who are treated at hospitals that perform fewer pediatric cardiac surgeries per year. Interesting because you would think that the busier a hospital is, the less intention each individual patient gets.

But that isn’t always true. A few months ago I posted an article about throat stents. The research there found a significant different between the surgeons who perform a lot of them (a set amount I cannot recall), as opposed to physicians who perform only a handful. That is because those surgeons—who are busier—end up having more expertise and “practice” performing the procedure. The same is likely true here.

The study argued that busier hospitals are more able to spot and handle complications that could occur during or after heart surgery because they understand the nuances of the patient’s condition. The more cases they see, the more experience they get treating complications, watching the patient’s status for issues that may arise, and overall being able to address those issues as they arise.

The study found that the risk for a patient dying after a major complication was higher in the hospitals that perform fewer than 150 pediatric heart surgeries a year as opposed to hospitals that perform more than 350 heart surgeries a year. Researchers noted that as much as eighty-percent of all pediatric heart patients can be treated anywhere. BUT the difference is that those twenty-percent of complex or difficult cases are the ones that a more experienced hospital can aptly take care of; here’s the statistical significance.

So just like a good restaurant, look for the busy hospitals! The more patients, the more experience and better equipped staff, which will therefore provide you with the best health care!

But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at