[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 54.205.87.3. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
April 26, 1985

Cardiac Arrest due to AnesthesiaA Study of Incidence and Causes

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Anesthesiology, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond.

JAMA. 1985;253(16):2373-2377. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350400057021
Abstract

Cardiac arrests due solely to anesthesia were studied in a large university hospital over a 15-year period. There were 27 cardiac arrests among 163,240 anesthetics given, for a 15-year incidence of 1.7 per 10,000 anesthetics. Fourteen of these patients (0.9 per 10,000) subsequently died. Detailed examination of the data from these 27 patients revealed that the pediatric age group had a threefold higher risk than adults, and that the risk for emergency patients was six times that for elective patients. Failure to provide adequate ventilation caused almost half of the anesthetic cardiac arrests, and one third resulted from absolute overdose of an inhalation agent. Hemodynamic instability in very ill patients was an association in 22%. Specific errors in anesthetic management could be identified in 75%. Progressive bradycardia preceding the arrest was observed in all but one case.

(JAMA 1985;253:2373-2377)

×