With the improvements in instrumentation, surgical technique, and critical care, the overall mortality following congenital heart surgery has become extremely low. Also, with the introduction of extracorporeal support (ECMO), especially in the emergency setting, acute deaths are extremely rare. The majority of post-operative deaths seem to be the result of a prolonged hospitalization with a progressive decline to multi-system organ failure.
The primary aim of the study is to elucidate the patterns of death following congenital heart surgery. The secondary aims of the study are to discover patterns and consistencies among the deaths and to discover points of potential intervention to reduce surgical mortality. The study will be conducted through a retrospective chart review of approximately 40 patients.