The objective of this study is based on the phase of care mortality analysis (POCMA), an effective tool to evaluate the root cause of in-hospital mortality in cardiac surgery patients. POCMA has not been used to compare operative mortalities among transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) populations, and may provide insight that could affect patient safety initiatives and improve outcomes in aortic valve surgery. We included patients who underwent TAVR or isolated SAVR between 2011 and March 31, 2015 and did not survive the index hospitalization. A multidisciplinary heart team made POCMA assignments as part of the weekly morbidity and mortality conference, pinpointing the phase of care and subcategory that directly caused or had the greatest effect on each mortality. During the study period, 240 patients underwent TAVR and 530 underwent SAVR. Unadjusted mortality rates were significantly higher in the TAVR group, 5.0% (n = 12) compared with SAVR, 1.9% (n = 10) (P = 0.016). TAVR deaths by phase of care are as follows: 0 for preoperative, 9 (72.8%) for intraoperative, 2 (18.2%) for postoperative intensive care unit, and 1 (9.1%) for postoperative floor. By comparison, 4 (40%) SAVR deaths had a root cause in the preoperative phase, 1 (10%) in the intraoperative phase, and 5 (50%) in the postoperative intensive care unit phase. POCMA is a novel method of categorizing in-hospital mortalities. Our single institution review revealed that patients who underwent TAVR more often expired because of intraoperative technical issues, whereas SAVR deaths were typically the result of patient selection or postoperative complications.
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