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Death rates for NHS cardiac surgery 25% better than European average, says first international audit

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NHS heart surgery patients in England and Wales have a greater chance of survival and recover more quickly than almost anywhere in Europe according to the first ever comparative study of cardiac operations data from across the continent, published November 25, 2010.

The figures, which track over one million cardiac operations from 23 countries, reveal that despite carrying out a high proportion of urgent operations and treating some of the oldest patients in Europe, mortality rates in England and Wales are significantly better than expected and some 25 percent lower than the European average. The report also shows that hospital stays in England and Wales are around 10 per cent shorter than the European average, translating to direct savings to the NHS in bed days of around £6.4m for coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) alone.

The fourth Adult Cardiac Surgical Database Report, complied on behalf of the European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery, contains new data from over 400,000 operations across Europe, China and Hong Kong, with England being the greatest contributor with nearly 72,000 cases in this round and 344,000 in total. In contrast countries including France, Denmark, The Netherlands, Austria and the Czech Republic have submitted no data in this round.

Extract of Fourth EACTS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database report is available at

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