Carolyn Dineen King, a senior U.S. Circuit Court judge, resigned from the St. Luke’s board on May 30, two weeks after ProPublica and the Houston Chronicle detailed deaths and complications in the famed heart program.
The action is a stunning blow for a historic program that has performed among the most heart transplants in the nation.
ProPublica and the Houston Chronicle reported in May that Dr. O.H. “Bud” Frazier had often failed to disclose his payments from medical device makers in articles he authored. Since then, he’s amended his disclosures for three pieces in the New England Journal of Medicine.
A leading group of surgeons gave the Houston hospital poor marks for heart bypasses. Hospital officials acknowledge the low rating, but say outcomes have improved in the past year.
He Went In for a Heart Transplant. He Suffered Severe Brain Damage. Now His Family Is Suing St. Luke’s.
After a heart transplant in August 2016, Ernest “Chris” Keys can’t talk or walk. The Houston hospital is under pressure for the quality of its once-renowned heart program.
Supporters of a Famed Houston Surgeon Have Alleged Inaccuracies in Our Investigation. Here’s Our Response
Several dozen people have authored letters defending Dr. O.H. “Bud” Frazier and criticizing an investigation by ProPublica and the Houston Chronicle. We stand behind our story.
Federal health officials say the hospital hasn’t done enough to improve care after a string of patient deaths. The decision comes a month after ProPublica and the Houston Chronicle found serious problems with the program.
Officials said they found no “systemic issues” in the care of two patients who died last month, but that they are making staffing and policy changes to improve the program.
“I sort of feel like we’ve been left in the dark,” says one patient’s wife, who learned from a reporter — and not the Houston hospital — about the program’s temporary suspension. An expert says it will likely take much longer than 14 days to fix.
The move comes two weeks after ProPublica and the Houston Chronicle reported on pervasive problems in the historic heart program.
A Pioneering Heart Surgeon’s Secret History of Research Violations, Conflicts of Interest and Poor Outcomes
Over decades, Bud Frazier has played a leading role in the development of mechanical heart pumps and an artificial heart. Out of public view, he’s been accused of putting his quest to make history ahead of the needs of some patients.
A heart transplant. A medical mishap. A drawn-out ending. All told on Facebook.
The hospital and its legendary surgeon Denton Cooley performed some of the world’s first heart transplants back in the 1960s. In recent years, though, it has had some of the worst heart transplant outcomes in the country.
Baylor St. Luke’s in Houston was known for handling complex heart transplants. But when Travis Hogan was a patient there, he didn’t know that the program was undergoing a series of dramatic changes. He never got his heart.
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For years, Vietnam vets and their widows have been pushing the VA to extend benefits to those exposed to the toxic herbicide and later stricken with glioblastoma. The VA has said no, but advocates hope the agency will now revisit the issue.