Statistics regarding the death rate of anesthetic agents, although open to grave fallacies, show that ether is by far the safest general anesthetic we have, with the exception of nitrous oxid. In reviewing the statistics, it is a noticeable fact that the death rate, both immediate and late, under the more experienced anesthetics, is so much lower than in the hands of those not skilled in this line of work, that it would seem that deaths are due more to faulty administration, or the selection of the anesthetic unsuited to the case, rather than to the anesthetic itself.
The most reliable statistics from all parts of the world give an average of one death to about every sixteen thousand administrations of ether. Dr. Julliard, of Geneva, reports from various reliable sources 314,738 administrations of ether with twenty-one deaths, or a death rate of one in 14,987. Dr. Ormsby, of Dublin,
Binnie JF, Cunningham OJ, Andersson HC. METHODS OF ADMINISTERING ETHER.. JAMA. 1908;LI(19):1574-1576. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25410190012001e