Children's heart surgery suspended

4 March 2010, 06:55 | Updated: 4 March 2010, 12:36

Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital's temporarily suspended children's heart surgery after four youngsters died in four months.

An investigation's underway to see if lessons can be learnt. 

Twenty six children waiting for surgery have been contacted to see if they can be treated elsewhere.  Parents who have concerns about their children receiving treatment are being urged to contact the hospital.

All the children died either during or shortly after surgery.

A spokesman for the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust said: "We have temporarily suspended the paediatric cardiac surgery service while we investigate concerns that have been raised.

"Our investigations are likely to include an external review of the deaths of some very sick children (four children) who underwent surgery at the John Radcliffe Hospital in the last three to four months.

"The families of children awaiting cardiac surgery are being contacted and we will be placing those patients who need to be seen urgently with other hospitals.

"We are reviewing each of these patients to ensure that they are not put at risk by any delay in their treatment."

Deaths after children's heart surgery at the hospital fall within normal ranges and there has been no previous cause for concern.  The Care Quality Commission say they are monitoring the situation closely.

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Patients and their families worried about their children's treatment are asked to contact the John Radcliffe Hospital on 01865 741166.