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April 1964

Decreased Mortality Rate in Open-Heart Surgery: Analysis of Reasons

Arch Surg. 1964;88(4):681-688. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01310220171026

The reduction of the mortality rate associated with open-heart surgery to a range comparable to that associated with other forms of major surgery prompted us to study the specific reasons for this decrease in risk.

Materials and Methods  An attempt was made to reduce to a minimum the variables inherent in this type of study. The entire experience in open-heart surgery of a single surgical section at the Mayo Clinic was reviewed in order to gain maximal standardization of surgical technique and case analysis. The general results of this study appear comparable to the combined experience of all of the surgical sections of the Mayo Clinic.The first operation of the series was performed near the end of 1957. This study extends from that time through the first half of 1963 and includes 744 operations. Cause of death was determined by careful study of the clinical records, including necropsy findings