Pediatric Heart Surgery Survival Rates by Complexity of Procedure | The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

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Cardiac Center Surgery Survival Rates by Complexity of Procedure

Data here is arranged by complexity of procedure. Surgical procedures are placed in categories from 1 to 5. This system is called STS-EACTS Mortality Category, or the “STAT” score. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) and the European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery (EACTS) provide us an objective, empirically based method of estimating the risk of mortality and the ability to compare data in categories across heart centers. The STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database categorizes surgical procedure types and calculates the mortality rate in each category.

Procedures are assigned a STAT category from 1 to 5. STAT Category 1 includes cases such as atrial septal defect (ASD) and ventricular septal defect closures (VSD), which have a low risk of morbidity and mortality. Arterial switch operation is category 3. The complexity of cases increases with each STAT category. The most complex cases, the Norwood procedure and combined transplantation of the heart and lungs, are included in STAT Category 5.

For more information about the STAT score, read below.

Pediatric heart surgery survival rates reflect the number of patients who survived within 30 days of the surgery or until the time they were discharged, whichever period is longer.

These charts show volume and outcomes by STAT categories at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

STAT Category 1

Procedures in Category 1 are the least complex.

Total Procedures: 1079
CHOP Mortality Rate: 0.56%
STS National Average: 0.7%

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STAT Category 2

Total Procedures: 939
CHOP Mortality Rate: 1.38%
STS National Average: 1.8%

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STAT Category 3

Total Procedures: 346
CHOP Mortality Rate: 4.34%
STS National Average: 3.2%

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STAT Category 4

Total Procedures: 440
CHOP Mortality Rate: 8.86%
STS National Average: 7.3%

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STAT Category 5

Procedures in category 5 are the most complex.

Total Procedures: 199
CHOP Mortality Rate: 14.07%
STS National Average: 17.1%

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More information about STAT score

What do CHOP’s STAT scores show?

Our mortality rates in all STAT categories are very good. They confirm that while our surgeons operate on many patients with extremely complex heart defects, mortality rates are low. In other words, we treat the sickest children and very few of them die.

What is STAT mortality category?

STAT is a system that places surgical procedures in categories based on complexity. The system allows hospitals to track and compare clinical outcomes (how patients did after surgery) in each category.

Procedures are assigned a STAT category from 1 to 5. Here are a few examples: closure of an atrial septal defect is a 1; the arterial switch operation is a 3; and the Norwood procedure is a 5. The empirical data from the STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database and the EACTS Congenital Heart Surgery Database is combined to determine which procedures go into which categories. View a full list of STAT procedures.

Why is STAT mortality categorization necessary?

STAT was created so outcomes can be compared from hospital to hospital. Suppose Hospital A does many surgeries that are less complex. Suppose Hospital B does many surgeries that are very complex, on the sickest patients. Hospital A might show a better overall mortality rate than Hospital B. That would not necessarily mean that Hospital A is a better choice for surgery. In fact, the most skilled, experienced surgeons might be at Hospital B.

STAT categorization allows meaningful comparison between hospitals based on the complexity of the surgeries they are doing.

How are STAT scores generated?

Mortality risk is estimated for 148 types of operative procedures. A data-driven algorithm determines the grouping of these procedures into categories with the resulting scores made available to institutions to compare outcomes.

CHOP's surgeons record data about every procedure in a database, including information about each patient before, during and after surgery. CHOP sends the data to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, an independent nonprofit organization representing surgeons worldwide. The Society gives CHOP its official STAT scores. After we receive our scores, we review and compare our clinical outcomes to those of other hospitals.

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