National heart month: Building healthy habits for a healthy heart

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — An advisory board says the University of North Carolina hospital’s pediatric cardiology program can resume performing complex heart surgeries following months in review after it was reported patient deaths were increasing during procedures there.

The News & Observer reports the outside review board’s report was announced Tuesday. It noted ongoing improvements in the unit, though it advised the hospital to consider if patients with complex heart problems along with additional illnesses should be referred to other hospitals.

The pediatric cardiology unit voluntarily paused some surgeries pending reviews by multiple agencies after a New York Times investigation described high death rates and released audio of the pediatric cardiology chief saying the unit was “in crisis.”

A Health Department investigation in August found “no current deficiencies” in the unit.

Copyright 2019, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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