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May 13, 1961

Operating Room Fatalities

Author Affiliations

Miami, Fla.

From the Department of Obstetrics-Gynecology, University of Miami School of Medicine and Jackson Memorial Hospital.

JAMA. 1961;176(6):483-485. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040190005002

The obstetrician-gynecologist has a new interest in operating and delivery room fatalities, particularly the increasing deaths due to cardiac arrest and aspiration of stomach contents. The inability to prepare some patients adequately for obstetric anesthesia is a frequent handicap. Hasty induction of anesthesia, incomplete preanesthetic medication, and a full stomach are common in delivery rooms. Inexperienced personnel and inadequate equipment add to the anesthetic risk. Fetal death can also occur or begin with accidents of anesthesia. Improvement in resuscitation of the newborn infant is being realized. The anesthesiologist and physiologist are contributors to this advance. The pathologist can aid by helping us to understand better our failures.