Advanced Search. Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Volume Article Contents. Small animals. Editorial II: Comparative mortality in anaesthesia R. Oxford Academic. Google Scholar. Cite Citation. Horses Anaesthetic mortality in horses has always been considered to be relatively high compared with most other species and has been attributed to the size and bulk of the horse, and to its unique cardiopulmonary physiology as a highly evolved athletic animal. Small animals In cats and dogs, there is a little more information available from surveys conducted over the past 50 yr, although the main information has been published in the past decade.
Death or Brain Damage from Anaesthesia
Historical aspects. In: Lunn JN, ed. Epidemiology in Anaesthesia. London: Edward Arnold, Report of the Lancet Commission appointed to investigate the subject of the administration of chloroform and other anaesthetics from a clinical standpoint. The evolution of anesthesia I and II. Proceedings of the Staff Meetings of the Mayo Clinic A study of the deaths associated with anesthesia and surgery based on a study of , anesthesias in 10 institutions — inclusive.
Ann Surg. Mortality, morbidity and risk in anaesthesia. Computer analysis of postanesthetic deaths.
Deaths associated with anaesthesia. Br J Anaesth. Mortality associated with anaesthesia. A prospective study of mortality associated with anaesthesia and surgery: risk indicators of mortality in hospital.
Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. Anesthesia mortality in perspective anesthesia and analgesia. Anesth Analg. Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia , 5th Edn. Veterinary Anaesthesia , 2nd Edn.
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Philadelphia: Lea and Febiger, The role of anaesthesia in surgical mortality in horses. Nord Vet Med. Almost a quarter of procedures are emergencies. In those patients requiring immediate surgery, the study identified areas where delivery of anaesthesia by senior staff could be further improved. The 15, survey returns after general anaesthesia recorded just nine deaths during the time the patient was under the care of the anaesthetist — a mortality rate of 0. Most of the patients who died were elderly, infirm and undergoing emergency surgery.
The current survey covers a broader group of patients, but for a shorter period of time, and the mortality is notably lower. In addition the results clearly show the extent of service change that will be required for elective seven-day working to become the norm. Sometimes the operation is extremely complicated and delicate.
Services on Demand
Certain types of surgery carry a greater risk of dying. The surgeon will discuss the risks of a particular operation with the patient prior to surgery. This is very similar to the other situations discussed. Surgery that needs to be done as an emergency has a greater risk of complications than surgery that is planned in advance. The patient is likely to be unwell, and the surgery more complicated.
As we have already said, an anaesthetic itself is very rarely the cause of death.
However, when this does happen it's usually because of one of the following reasons:. A general anaesthetic itself is very rarely the cause of death. The reasons why a person might experience harm or may die because of a general anaesthetic include:. The risk of having a life-threatening allergic reaction is very low less than 1 in 10, and most of those will recover completely. Your anaesthetist will be highly skilled in dealing with such situations.
When the anaesthetist comes to see you before your operation it is important that you tell them about any allergies that you have, or if anyone in your family has had a problem with an anaesthetic in the past.
Mortality in Anesthesia: A Systematic Review
After the anaesthetic medications have been given and the patient is asleep, a breathing tube is put in to allow a ventilator to breathe for the patient whilst they are asleep. Very occasionally the anaesthetist might have difficulty putting in the breathing tube. There are several things about the patient or the type of surgery that the patient is having that will alert the anaesthetist to potential problems.
If, in your case, the anaesthetist feels that inserting the breathing tube may be difficult, they will discuss this with you at your pre-op assessment. Most anaesthetic medications cause the blood pressure to fall a little. Your anaesthetist will be skilled at managing this and have medication on hand to correct it. Particularly in people with 'furred' or 'hardened' arteries atherosclerosis , organs including the kidneys and the brain can become damaged from a lack of blood supply in this situation.
It is normal to feel drowsy, be slightly confused or have a headache after having a general anaesthetic. Sometimes these feelings can carry on for a few days or weeks after the operation but this does not mean that your brain has been damaged. Brain damage is caused by the death or damage of brain cells. This can occur as a result of a wide range of causes, including major head injury or severe infections like meningitis.
However, in the context of an anaesthetic, it usually occurs because the brain cells are deprived of oxygen in some way. Commonly during a stroke, a blood clot blocks the blood supply to part of the brain.
If the blood supply has been stopped, no oxygen will be able to reach that part and if the blood supply is not restored quickly, the cells in that area will die or be damaged. It is usually the combined effects of the surgery and the anaesthetic that cause the stroke. A stroke can happen up to 10 days after surgery. Very, very rarely, brain damage can be caused by not getting enough oxygen to the brain. This might be caused by problems putting in the breathing tube.
The breathing tube allows oxygen to be delivered to the lungs, and therefore the brain, during an anaesthetic. All anaesthetists have had extensive training and are expert in giving an anaesthetic and looking after you during the operation. Your anaesthetist will either be a doctor who's specialised in anaesthesia, or another type of health professional supervised by a senior anaesthetic doctor. Your anaesthetist will see you before your operation and ask about:.
Related Mortality in Anaesthesia
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