To the Editor.
—The article entitled "Intraocular Surgery With General Anesthesia" by Wolf et al (The Archives 93:323, 1975) was designed as a prospective study of "the relative safety and benefits of local vs general anesthesia." While the authors were able to determine relative effects on ocular complications of sugery, the study groups reported (2,217 patients receiving general anesthesia, 561 patients receiving local anesthesia) were not large enough to allow calculation of relative mortality risks of the two modes of anesthesia. It could have been predicted from the data of previous retrospective studies1-8 that the mortality would approximate one death per 1,000 ophthalmic procedures. Corresponding to these expected rates, one patient died in the general anesthesia group of Wolf et al, and none died in the local anesthesia group.The prospective design and the control of characteristics of the two populations in the study by Wolf et al have
Quigley HA. General Anesthesia in Ophthalmic Surgery. Arch Ophthalmol. 1976;94(5):867. doi:10.1001/archopht.1976.03910030435017