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Hospital defends high op death levels.

A HOSPITAL has defended its mortality figures after an audit found its death rates to be almost three times the national average.

Figures for all patients undergoing surgery on blood vessels - angioplasty - at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry showed a mortality rate of 3.1 per cent, compared with a UK average of 1.2 per cent.

But Coventry Health Authority's director of public health, Dr Keith Williams, said the hospital had received a high proportion of emergency patients and that mortality rates for non-emergency patients reflected the national average.

According to Dr Williams, Walsgrave carried out 1,422 angioplasties from January to December 2000, of which 43 per cent were emergency or non-elective operations.

Nineteen per cent of the non-elective operations were transferred from other hospitals, while 38 per cent were elective.

Angioplasty operations are used to treat people suffering angina and involves a special balloon being fed into a blocked or narrow artery, which is inflated to widen the channel and then removed.

Dr Williams said: "The most important thing is to reassure the public that our mortality rates for elective surgery are
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 17, 2002
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