The Tuesday death of an infant who underwent a heart surgery at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, created widespread commotion, with the CNN hurling caustic criticism at the establishment.
Davi Ricardo Brandao, was the baby who died after being diagnosed with a severe heart defect called truncus arteriosus. He had earlier received a surgery in March, however Tuesday's surgery proved fatal for the little one. This is the ninth such incident since 2011.
When asked, Davide Carbone, the CEO of St. Mary's, retorted saying that CNN did not get the mortality rate right. He defended the hospital's program, saying, "The patients we serve are afflicted with severe life-threatening conditions, and it is impossible to eliminate the risk of mortality".
He further added that the infant mortality rate in its pediatric open-heart surgery unit is 'consistent' with the national average. However, he remained tight-lipped about the actual rate.
St. Mary's, which is owned by Tenet Healthcare, launched a new program in 2011. For the two years following the launch, till 2013, CNN reported a 12.5 percent mortality rate for open-heart surgeries. The report alleged that the rate was more than three times the national average.
Even a report by the Florida Department of Health that came out last April, advised the hospital to stop doing heart surgeries on babies younger than 6 months. The panel was also cynical of the hospital conducting just 23 surgeries in 2013, which was considered low volume by the Society for Thoracic Surgeons.