Pediatric Heart Care Quality and Outcomes

Doernbecher Children’s Hospital is dedicated to giving your child and family the highest-quality care. As part of our commitment to excellence and transparency, we’re pleased to share information on outcomes. Our heart surgery outcomes are on par with the averages from across North America, and our hospital stays are significantly shorter.

Culture of excellence

We are proud members of the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement  Collaborative.

NPC-QIC is a network of more than 65 leading U.S. pediatric cardiology care centers  that are dedicated to improving outcomes for children with congenital heart disease. The network is particularly focused on improving “interstage” outcomes (between a first and second surgery) for infants with single ventricle defects.

As part of our culture of excellence, we also formally recognize employees for outstanding service beyond their normal duties.

A Doernbecher Childrens Hospital nurse holds a pediatric patient being checked with a stethoscope

Heart surgery outcomes

Doernbecher is among about 80 U.S. pediatric hospitals that voluntarily and publicly report congenital heart surgery statistics to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. The STS is the recognized leader in efforts to improve outcomes for surgeries on the heart, lungs, esophagus and other areas in the chest. As part of that, the society keeps a database of statistics.

Survival rates reflect patients who survived at least 30 days after surgery and who were discharged from the hospital. Doernbecher’s statistics include only surgeries tracked by the STS.

Please note that every case is different. Doernbecher’s numbers cannot predict the outcome for any one child. Some categories also have only a few cases, which can significantly skew the survival rate.

If you have questions or concerns about your child’s unique condition, the heart care team at Doernbecher would be happy to talk with you. Families can call us at 503-346-0640. Referring providers can reach us at 503-346-0644.

Overall survival, January 2015-December 2018

Number of surgeries Survival rate
Doernbecher 751 97.3%
STS 98,049 97.2%

Survival rates by type of surgery, January 2015-December 2018

Number of surgeries Survival rate
Doernbecher 35 97.1%
STS 3,863 98.8%
Number of surgeries Survival rate
Doernbecher 48 100%
STS 7,474 99.5%
Number of surgeries Survival rate
Doernbecher 41 97.6%
STS 4,904 98.9%
Number of surgeries Survival rate
Doernbecher 27 96.3%
STS 3,275 97.9%
Number of surgeries Survival rate
Doernbecher 20 100%
STS 1,882 97.9%
Number of surgeries Survival rate
Doernbecher 7 100%
STS 853 94.9%
Number of surgeries Survival rate
Doernbecher 24 100%
STS 4,288 98.0%
Number of surgeries Survival rate
Doernbecher 32 100%
STS 4,057 99.0%
Number of surgeries Survival rate
Doernbecher 2 100%
STS 584 91.0%
Number of surgeries Survival rate
Doernbecher 21 76.2%
STS 2,711 85.5%

Days in the hospital

Doernbecher STS
Off-bypass coarctation 5.0 12.1
VSD 4.0 9.2
TOF 6.0 11.7
Complete AVC 8.0 17.9
ASO 9.0 17.4
ASO + VSD 13.0 22.0
Glenn 6.0 14.2
Fontan 8.5 13.3
Truncus 17.5 29.7
Norwood 21.0 48.4

Survival by surgery category, January 2015-December 2018

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons and European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery use STAT categories to group surgeries by risk of mortality. Categories are on a five-tier scale: STAT Category 1 is associated with surgeries that have the least risk, STAT Category 5 with surgeries that have the most. The categories are based on data from tens of thousands of surgeries. 

Doernbecher survival rate STS survival rate
STAT 1 100% 99.6%
STAT 2 98.7% 98.5%
STAT 3 98.9% 97.9%
STAT 4 92.4% 93.7%
STAT 5 80.0% 86.0%