Two Children Die Following Routine Tonsil and Adenoid Surgeries at Canadian Hospital

June 14, 2024 by No Comments

McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, is temporarily halting scheduled tonsil and adenoid surgery for patients under 18 years old. This decision comes after two children who underwent the procedure died shortly after being discharged. The hospital confirmed the deaths in a June 7 statement.

One child passed away the day following surgery, while the other died nine days later. One death occurred in May and the other in June.

Dr. Devin Peterson, chief of pediatric surgery at the hospital, stated that the suspension is a precautionary measure. Hospital officials expressed deep sorrow over the deaths.

“This is a very rare occurrence,” he said in a video message.

Officials emphasized that the deaths do not appear to be connected. The cause of death for both patients remains undetermined.

The Canadian Society of Otolaryngology classifies tonsil and adenoid surgery as a major procedure.

“The main risk is bleeding, which can be serious. About 5% of patients bleed after surgery (and might need to return to the operating room to have the bleeding stopped),” the hospital statement explained.

The majority of bleeding incidents occur seven to ten days after surgery, although rare cases can happen as late as 17 days after the procedure.

Last year, the hospital performed 584 pediatric tonsil-only procedures, including adenoid surgeries. Approximately 5.8% of patients required emergency department visits, aligning with the expected rate reported by the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology.

“Patient safety is the utmost priority at our hospital, and we will only resume scheduled surgeries once the review is complete,” the hospital stated. “We understand that this is a challenging situation for our patients and families.”