Medicine: Surgical Trauma in California

Davis center suspends heart operations, kidney transplants

The University of California Davis Medical Center (U.M.C.) was increasingly cited for excellent patient care and impressive research, particularly in heart disease. But its reputation has now suffered a brutal blow. At the palm-lined campus in Sacramento, all kidney transplants and heart surgery have been suspended because of charges of excessive complications and high mortality rates.

According to a report prepared by U.M.C.'s cardiologists, the facility's four heart surgeons operated on 346 patients over a 22-month span in 1979 and '80.

The results: 17% died and 40% of the 288 survivors had surgical complications. Nationwide, the mortality...

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