Stony Brook (N.Y.) University Hospital was ordered by state health officials to immediately suspend its pediatric cardiac surgery and catheterization programs following the deaths of three children since May. The action follows a state health department probe that found the 504-bed public hospital failed to have a full-time doctor on-site to monitor and care for patients following surgery, and that its surgical team failed to provide "a minimum quality" of care. "The hospital is prohibited from admitting patients to these programs, performing cardiac surgeries or diagnostic procedures until further notice from the department," New York Health Commissioner Antonio Novello said in the cease-and-desist order. The hospital may challenge the order in an administrative court hearing scheduled for Sept. 28. Hospital representatives could not be reached for comment at deadline. The program has been under scrutiny since 1999, following the deaths of three children that year. As recently as April, the state health officials threatened to close the program if the hospital failed to address several problems, including low case volume. The health department now is investigating the deaths of three pediatric patients at the hospital this year, including a 1-year-old who died from a medication overdose, a 7-year-old who died after routine adenoid surgery and a premature 23-week baby with a heart defect who died after not receiving an operation.
N.Y. hospital ordered to suspend pediatric heart surgery
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