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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westport, CT

    UNC Cardiac Surgery Expose in the NY Times

    I am not posting this because it is a negative view of UNC.

    I am posting this to alert people in the area that there may be a problem with the cardiac surgical program at UNC Hospital.

    The bottom line here is that the hospital protected the cardiac surgical program and its surgeons to the detriment of patients. Please chose your hospital and doctors carefully. Ask questions. If possible, get a second opinion.

    As a physician this is a very difficult piece to read. There can be a culture to protect other doctors and this can and does potentially harm patients. The doctor in question is also older (65) and brings up questions of when is it time to retire or at least stop doing high risk procedures. I will not go further for fear of entering PPB issues.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...?module=inline

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Deeetroit City
    Quote Originally Posted by fisheyes View Post
    I am not posting this because it is a negative view of UNC.

    I am posting this to alert people in the area that there may be a problem with the cardiac surgical program at UNC Hospital.

    The bottom line here is that the hospital protected the cardiac surgical program and its surgeons to the detriment of patients. Please chose your hospital and doctors carefully. Ask questions. If possible, get a second opinion.

    As a physician this is a very difficult piece to read. There can be a culture to protect other doctors and this can and does potentially harm patients. The doctor in question is also older (65) and brings up questions of when is it time to retire or at least stop doing high risk procedures. I will not go further for fear of entering PPB issues.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...?module=inline
    The carolina way runs deep, complete with an internal investigation. And children died. Very, very sad.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    I'd tell ya, but then I'd have to kill ya
    Wondering if uNC will spend the money to save the reputation of their medical system that they spent to save the reputation of their basketball program.

    Is it too late to start a PR firm in Chapel Hill? Anyone looking to invest in a growth business?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by fisheyes View Post
    I am not posting this because it is a negative view of UNC.

    I am posting this to alert people in the area that there may be a problem with the cardiac surgical program at UNC Hospital.

    The bottom line here is that the hospital protected the cardiac surgical program and its surgeons to the detriment of patients. Please chose your hospital and doctors carefully. Ask questions. If possible, get a second opinion.

    As a physician this is a very difficult piece to read. There can be a culture to protect other doctors and this can and does potentially harm patients. The doctor in question is also older (65) and brings up questions of when is it time to retire or at least stop doing high risk procedures. I will not go further for fear of entering PPB issues.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...?module=inline

    Apparently, UNC employees received an email about the article yesterday. The administration claims to have made changes, including getting rid of certain people.

    Someone on DBR may know more about this email than I (I did not read it, but my wife did).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by dudog84 View Post
    Wondering if uNC will spend the money to save the reputation of their medical system that they spent to save the reputation of their basketball program.

    Is it too late to start a PR firm in Chapel Hill? Anyone looking to invest in a growth business?
    Given the grant money that is no doubt at stake, I'm pretty sure they will.

    Sad story.
    1991 -- 1992 -- 2001 -- 2010 -- 2015

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    The Daily (the NYT Podcast) did an episode about this today. It's quite a listen. Someone recorded a meeting among cardiologists discussing problems with the hospital surgery team and it's kind of terrifying to listen to. It's also not an easy listen, as they have a conversation with the parents of a 3-year-old who died following surgery at UNC.
    Just be you. You is enough. - K, 4/5/10, 0:13.8 to play, 60-59 Duke.

    You're all jealous hypocrites. - Titus on Laettner

    You see those guys? Animals. They're animals. - SIU Coach Chris Lowery, on Duke

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Wow. Just WOW. It is absolutely inexcusable for this to have happened and for them having allowed it to continue. To allow egos and money and whatever else that was going on to take precedence over children's lives is inconceivable. I'm thinking Duke had good reason to steer clear and work with ECU instead.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Boston area, OK, Newton, right by Heartbreak Hill
    Lack of transparency is, unfortunately, a habit at UNC. Culture matters.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    I can readily/easily separate the medical maladies in this thread/revelation from the complete lack of integrity/honesty in the academic and athletic worlds over there (Hopefully-I think) and the loathing I have for all those involved, both in the past and those who continue to be associated with that malfeasance. I find this development to be very, very sad and am extremely grateful neither my son or younger daughter are currently involved with the current situation at the medical center.
    [redacted] them and the horses they rode in on.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by curtis325 View Post
    Apparently, UNC employees received an email about the article yesterday. The administration claims to have made changes, including getting rid of certain people.

    Someone on DBR may know more about this email than I (I did not read it, but my wife did).
    Does your wife work at the Med school? I work in one of the Research Institutes (non medical) and I don't think I got anything.

    Howard

  11. #11
    If you think that's bad, check out the story of Christopher Duntsch from Dallas, TX, nicknamed "Dr. Death" due to his botched surgeries. He turned his best friend into a quadriplegic, killed 3 patients and left over 25 (out of 30) with permanent damage. There is a podcast on this of the same name.

    https://www.dmagazine.com/publicatio...tsch-dr-death/

    One of the key deficiencies is that hospitals are loath to report doctors to the review board because it opens them up for litigation (after all, you are taking away someone's career and livelihood, so your reasons must be solid). It is easier to revoke their surgical privileges and let them be someone else's problem. Which is what happened to Duntsch, again and again.
    "There can BE only one."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by howardlander View Post
    Does your wife work at the Med school? I work in one of the Research Institutes (non medical) and I don't think I got anything.

    Howard
    The unit where she works is associated loosely with the Med school.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westport, CT

    Update in today's NY Times

    UNC Children's Hospital shuts down high risk cardiac surgery in response to the NY Times expose.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/17/u...gtype=Homepage

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by fisheyes View Post
    UNC Children's Hospital shuts down high risk cardiac surgery in response to the NY Times expose.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/17/u...gtype=Homepage
    Wow. "Mortality rates for the most complex cases at UNC were especially high: 58.3 percent, or seven deaths out of 12 surgeries; the risk-adjusted mortality rate was 47.4 percent. The national rate for the most complex surgeries was 14 percent."

    The article states that UNC Health Care has "introduced several initiatives to “restore confidence in its pediatric heart surgery program". If you're a patient or family of a patient, do you want to be the guinea pig to see if their initiatives to restore confidence are in fact warranted? I have to imagine that cardiologists would simply refer patients in need of heart surgery (outside the complex procedures that have been halted) elsewhere and that UNC will have experience what they were trying to avoid by covering all this up --- loss of patients and revenue and reduced employee count.

    I'm still not clear on exactly what the root cause of all this is/was. I guess the state and federal investigation results will tell us more. The articles so far have danced around several potentially contributing factors but I'll be interested in seeing the government's findings.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by fisheyes View Post
    UNC Children's Hospital shuts down high risk cardiac surgery in response to the NY Times expose.
    It is sad that this headline is accurate.

    UNC should have shut down that unit because it was the right thing to do, not because the NY Times has shown a light on their problems.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Some things transcend the rivalry. This is just sad.
    1991 -- 1992 -- 2001 -- 2010 -- 2015

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Deeetroit City
    Quote Originally Posted by fisheyes View Post
    UNC Children's Hospital shuts down high risk cardiac surgery in response to the NY Times expose.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/17/u...gtype=Homepage
    Wonder if this will provide the Duke Hospital unit with the volume of surgeries desirable to make the unit efficient and successful?

    Per the cited article, there had been talk of combining the two units, will this wind up being a de facto combination?

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