The Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Inquest Report



The decision to operate

On March 1, Odim reviewed the heart catheterization report. In a letter to Giddins, Odim described Jessica as having a minimally restrictive ventricular septal defect, with elevated-end diastolic ventricular pressures (one of the earliest signs of the heart's failing as a pump), and with no evidence of significant ventricular outflow tract obstruction. He wrote, "This ventricular septal defect clearly will not close on its own." (Exhibit 13, page ULI 9)

In a separate letter to Giddins, Odim described meeting Jessica and Emalee Ulimaumi with an interpreter on March 1. He wrote, "I explained to the mother, via the interpreter, the importance of surgical repair of this ventricular septal defect. The mother appeared to understand the necessity for this intervention as well as the risks. We should plan to bring Jessica back within the next four to six weeks in order to repair this lesion. Hopefully by then she might have gained some additional weight." (Exhibit 13, page ULI 10)

On March 18, Jessica was admitted to the Churchill Health Centre with nausea, vomiting, fever and diarrhea. A chest X-ray showed no signs of congestive heart failure. She was diagnosed as having gastroenteritis and continued to have diarrhea after discharge. Dr. Smith, in Churchill, spoke with Giddins about Jessica's condition and arrangements were made for Jessica to be admitted to HSC on March 23 in preparation for surgery.



Current Home - Table of Contents - Chapter 6 - The decision to operate
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Previous Background and diagnosis
Section 1 Chapter 1 - Introduction to the Issues
  Chapter 2 - Pediatric Cardiac Issues
  Chapter 3 - The Diagnosis of Pediatric Heart Defects and their Surgical Treatment
  Chapter 4 - The Health Sciences Centre
Section 2 Chapter 5 - Pediatric Cardiac Surgery in Winnipeg 1950-1993
  Chapter 6 - The Restart of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery in 1994
January 1, 1994 to May 17, 1994
  Chapter 7 - The Slowdown
May 17 to September 1994
  Chapter 8 - Events Leading to the Suspension of the Program
September 7, 1994 to December 23, 1994
  Chapter 9 - 1995 - The Aftermath of the Shutdown
January to March, 1995
Section 3 Chapter 10 - Findings and Recommendations
Appendix 1 - Glossary of terms used in this report
Appendix 2 - Parties to the Proceedings and counsel
Appendix 3 - List of witnesses and dates of testimony
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