The Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Inquest Report



Chapter 7 - The Slowdown; May 17 to September, 1994

The Slowdown
May 17 to September 1994

The anaesthetists' memorandum of May 17 led to an immediate slowdown in the Health Sciences Centre Pediatric Cardiac Surgery program. Initially, only low-risk cases were done. The slowdown lasted until the end of July, when medium-risk cases were permitted, and in September of 1994 the program returned to doing high-risk cases. The slowdown should have given the HSC administration an opportunity to identify and address the shortcomings that surrounded the program's restart in February 1994. However, as the events outlined in this chapter indicate, that did not happen. As a result, the program experienced another half-year of turmoil and tragedy before it was completely suspended.

On May 17 and May 18, the HSC departmental leadership responded to the anaesthetists' withdrawal of services. These two days were among the most crucial days in the history of the program. Decisions made at that time led to the creation of what became known in the hospital as the Wiseman Committee. That committee was supposedly mandated to address the problems raised by the anaesthetists' action. It met throughout the summer of 1994 and it was on the recommendation of this committee that the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Program returned to full capacity in September 1994. This chapter reviews the operations that were undertaken from May 17 to early September. Special attention is paid to the deaths of two children. In addition, this chapter examines the creation and functioning of the Wiseman Committee during this period.



Current Home - Table of Contents - Chapter 7 - The Slowdown - May 17 to September 1994
Next The Meeting in Bishop's Office
Previous Chapter 6 - Bishop is notified
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
Table of Contents