UPDATE: Radcliffe Hospital Investigation

The inquiry into Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital continued today, as the British Press found a “suspect” and news came that the investigation is a lot bigger than initially thought.

All four of the children who died had Congenital Heart Defects and all were operated on by the same surgeon, Mr. Caner Salih. (British surgeons are traditionally referred to as “Mister”). Not only was Salih the doctor in all four cases, he has since left the hospital… so obviously, he must be the guilty party.

No so fast – early reports indicate that Salih may have been the person who sounded the alarm and that all aspects of patient care will be examined, not just the surgeons.

Radcliffe has a history of difficulties in cardiac surgery, dating back to the year 2000. Internal problems and surgeons failing to work together were highlighted as the main cause of the difficulties then.

The hospital also performs a low number of procedures (Estimated to normally be “between 30 and 40” in a four-month period, which would be approximately 100 per year.) The National Specialist Commissioning Group is expected to report in July that the proper thing to do is consolidate eleven Cardiac Surgery Centers down to five or six – Centres of Expertise that should have a minimum of four surgeons who perform 400 operations per year in each Center.

That’s the proper thing to do – the only way to get really good at something is to continually practice doing it. The problem at Radcliffe Hospital may prove not to lie with the surgeon, but rather with the entire Cardiac Care Unit.

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One Response to “UPDATE: Radcliffe Hospital Investigation”

  1. amanda clifton Says:

    Mrs. Clifton left a comment that recounted her experiences at John Radcliffe Hospital, which included her son’s heart defect, surgery, and the events that followed. Mrs. Clifton recounted the events quite clearly.

    Not having any legal training at all, I decided my best option was not to publish her comment – the situation occurred in the year 2000 but could conceivably be reviewed in light of current events. I hope that all understand, and my heart goes out to the Clifton family.

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