A program for open heart surgery in one community hospital was formulated and put into practice. Experience gained indicates that such services are a necessity in hospitals that fulfill certain criteria. The program is safe and inexpensive. A house staff is not a prerequisite. Finally, the analysis of data obtained from the first 100 cases compares very favorably with results in large medical centers, indicating that the patient's recovery is not compromised.
(JAMA 232:154-156, 1975)