St. Agnes in Fifth Day of Cardiac Surgery Ban

May 28, 2008 8:13:03 PM PDT
The State Health Department received St. Agnes' second plan of correction Wednesday that should address how it will fix problems in how the hospital reports infections. However, the hospital's President Mathew Abraham said it is not being required to come up with a plan on how to prevent future infections. "I don't have any information that this infection started here or was a result of operation. You're right these three patients that are confirmed had surgeries here but at the time they left St. Agnes they did not have infection.The cardiac unit was shut down over the weekend after several heart surgery patients came down with post-operative infections, most in the leg. When a bypass operation is done the surgeon removes a vein from the patient's leg and grafts it into the faulty vein in the heart so blood can again flow freely to the heart.

Last year there was a similar problem at St. Agnes when the Centers for Disease Control said 12 patients got life-threatening infections after heart surgery. Three of those patients died. However, the CDC never found the source of the infections.

Abraham said "We submitted our findings to the CDC and they looked at it and said there was nothing we needed to do differently." And he insisted St. Agnes is a safe place to get medical treatment. "We do several surgeries every day at this hospital. We do over 400 cardiac surgeries per year so I would not consider this to be of concern. I would say this is a very safe place to be at."

St. Agnes has cancelled two cardiac surgeries in the last two days and it won't re-open until the State Health Department gives it the green light. The hospital's president says he has no idea how long that could that.


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