Towards excellence in cardiac surgery: Experience from a developing country

Aamir Saifuddin, Syed Shahabuddin, Shazia Perveen, Shumaila Furnaz, Hasanat Sharif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The objective of this study is an attempt to measure the performance in terms of comparing results with a large internationally recognized database used as a benchmark. Design: Cross-sectional (prospectively collected data analysed and compared retrospectively). Setting: Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan. Participants, interventions and main outcome measures: From January 2006 to December 2010, information of the 2198 CABGs performed at Aga Khan University Hospital (AKU) was collected prospectively. This included patient characteristics and specific intra- and post-operative outcomes and compared with findings from the American Society of Thoracic Surgeons' National Cardiac Database (STS-NCD). Results: There were more male patients in the AKU cohort and more diabetics. In AKU, more cases involved three or more grafts (85 vs. 78%), and in both groups, an internal mammary artery graft was used over 90% of the time. The overall 30-day mortality was 2.7% at AKU, compared with 1.5% in the STS-NCD data. AKU had a lower incidence of permanent stroke (0.5 vs. 1.2%), prolonged ventilation (10.5 vs. 11.0%), deep sternal wound infection (0.2 vs. 0.4%) and reoperation (4.0 vs. 4.7%). It had more cases of renal failure (5.4 vs. 3.6%). Readmission rates within 30 days were also less in AKU (3.9 vs. 9.1%). Conclusions: The outcomes of this study compare very favourably with the benchmark (STS). This demonstrates that high level of quality care can be achieved in this part of the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-259
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • Cardiac surgery
  • Database
  • Patient outcomes
  • Quality improvement


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