Dr. Jeffrey Jacobs, of the Society of Thoracic Surgeon’s National Database Workforce has said: “The quality of care is not the same at all hospitals that provide pediatric cardiac surgery.” Dr. Jeffrey Jacobs has pushed for pediatric heart surgery programs to be open about their death rates. What seems to make the difference in terms of the quality of surgery is how often the type of surgery is performed at a particular hospital.
Dr. Roger Mee, the former chief of pediatric heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic says that it’s easy to make mistakes with surgery if a hospital does not perform many pediatric heart surgeries.
It is imperative to research hospitals before having surgery on a newborn no matter how important the surgery is. If a hospital only has one pediatric surgeon, their volume is low. Ask questions about the number of surgeons, how often surgeries are performed and do research on the quality of care, including the nurses.
Optum Health has designated 20 centers of excellence in the U.S. Many insurance companies will pay for airfare so that families can go to a top hospital.