Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Tragic Deaths Prompt Surgery Suspension at McMaster Children’s Hospital

McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH) has announced a temporary halt on tonsil and adenoid surgeries for patients under the age of 18 after the unfortunate deaths of two children following their surgeries. This suspension is part of a comprehensive review of the hospital’s procedures to ensure patient safety and care quality.

The first incident occurred in May, when a child passed away the day after their surgery. The second incident happened in early June, with another child dying nine days post-surgery. Wendy Stewart, spokesperson for Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS), expressed the hospital’s deepest condolences to the affected families.

In response to these incidents, MCH has paused all scheduled tonsil and adenoid surgeries for pediatric patients until a thorough review of the program can be completed. This review will involve independent, external experts to provide an objective assessment and ensure that all necessary safety measures are implemented.

Despite these tragic events, the hospital’s Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) Clinic remains operational, and emergent surgeries will continue to be performed. The hospital is currently in the process of informing patients and families about the changes to scheduled care.

Ontario’s Minister of Health, Sylvia Jones, emphasized the importance of transparency, stating that parents should hear the results of the review directly from the hospitals involved. Ontario Liberal MPP Adil Shamji and NDP Leader Marit Stiles also highlighted the need for a thorough investigation by both the hospital and the Ministry of Health.

The hospital’s review aims to identify any potential connections between the two cases and to ensure that all safety protocols are being followed. Hamilton police have confirmed that both deaths are considered non-criminal and have handed the cases over to Ontario’s coroner for further investigation.

Over the past year, McMaster Children’s Hospital has performed 47 pediatric tonsil-only surgeries and 537 pediatric tonsil and adenoid-related procedures. The hospital reported that approximately 11 percent of children with tonsil-only surgeries and five percent treated for tonsils and adenoids returned to the emergency department with issues related to bleeding.

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