Nicklaus Children’s Heart Program Reports 100 Percent Survival Rate for 2018

Published on: 04/03/2019

The Heart Program at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital remains dedicated to providing the very best and safest experience for patients undergoing congenital heart surgery. The program has reported that all 270 children who underwent congenital heart surgery at Nicklaus Children’s in 2018 survived. By contrast, congenital heart surgery mortality reported nationally by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) averages 3 percent annually. Based on the STS average, about one patient in 33 nationwide who underwent congenital heart surgery did not survive.

“Nicklaus Children’s is honored to be the highest volume congenital heart center in the Florida. Of those who underwent congenital heart surgery through our program in 2018, nearly 60 were neonates with very complex conditions. As of this posting, more than 380 consecutive patients have undergone cardiac surgical procedures at our hospital without a single death,” said Dr. Redmond Burke, Director of Cardiovascular Surgery.

“We recognize that surviving a congenital heart surgical procedure is often the first step in a very long journey for many patients and their families. At Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, we are committed to supporting our patients throughout their lifetimes,” said Dr. Anthony Rossi, Director of Cardiovascular Medicine.

Outcomes for cardiac surgical patients at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital continue to be reported in real-time and have been so since 2001. These outcomes are available for all to see at

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s real-time outcomes is the most comprehensive and transparent outcomes reporting website available today, with over 18 years of outcomes available for review.

Graph - 2018 hear surgery survival rates

Additional highlights of The Heart Program at Nicklaus Children’s include:

  • A new, state-of-the-art bed tower that includes The Heart Program’s 34-bed cardiac intensive care unit, the largest pediatric cardiac critical care unit in the state and one of the largest in the country.  Every patient room has sleeping accommodations for the family.
  • The cardiac intensive care unit was the very first freestanding CICU for children in the state of Florida. It is staffed by seven cardiac intensivists, all with advanced training in cardiac critical care and is the most experienced CICU program in the state.
  • The Heart Program staff also includes: two pediatric cardiac surgeons, 15 board-certified pediatric cardiologists, two interventional cardiologists, three electrophysiologists, three cardiac anesthesiologists, three dedicated cardiac imagers and 15 dedicated pediatric cardiac nurse practitioners.

2018 statistics
statistics py procedure
STS comparison
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