The Times reported last month that the hospital was experiencing unexpected complications even with lower-risk patients.
"Our pediatric heart program cares for very sick children with incredibly complex medical problems, and our clinical team works tirelessly to help those patients return to normal, healthy and productive lives," said Dr. Wesley Burks, CEO of UNC Health Care. "We grieve with families anytime there is a negative outcome, and we constantly push to learn from those tragic instances.
"I want to acknowledge in the sincerest way possible, that for our team and me personally, the death of any child is one too many," Burks continued. "These steps are part of a comprehensive effort to ensure UNC Health Care's mission to serve all North Carolinians with the highest quality care is."
The UNC Health Care Board of Directors have introduced new efforts to restore confidence in the program including:
"The UNCHC Board of Directors and our leadership believe it is important to acknowledge the past time period when our survival rate was below the national average and share data previously used for our internal peer review," said Charlie Owen, Chair of UNC Health Care Board.
The temporary procedure pause will halt some of the more complex surgeries focusing on repairing congenital heart defects in children.
In a release, UNC said over the past 11 months, July 2018 through May 2019, the program performed 100 surgeries with a 97 percent survival rate.
"While UNC Health Care and its Board of Directors have strong confidence in our extraordinary current pediatric heart surgery team, we believe it is vitally important that both current and future patients, our medical colleagues, key regulators, and the public share this confidence," Owen said.