State To Investigate Child Deaths At N.C. Children's Hospital

State To Investigate Child Deaths At N.C. Children's Hospital

10:22am Jun 03, 2019
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

State health officials will investigate a North Carolina hospital where the number of children’s deaths from heart surgeries may have been higher than expected.

Investigators will review how surgeries were done at the North Carolina Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill. It’s run by UNC Health Care.

Last week, The New York Times published an investigation of high rates of deaths among child heart surgery patients, including some who died during relatively low-risk procedures.

The reporting was based on audio tapes that the Times acquired in which cardiologists discussed their concerns about care at the hospital.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services, says a team of investigators will work with federal regulators to look into practices at the hospital.

UNC administrators stand by the surgery department but say a culture of mistrust existed during the 2016-2017 period on which the report focused. They say those issues have been addressed, and a new team is in place.

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