Death from anesthesia is an ever present factor in the compilation of statistics on surgical mortality. The importance of this factor has increased as the years have passed since its introduction in 1846. Generally speaking, improvement in the management of the anesthesia period has not kept pace with improvement in the management of the surgical period. Many hospitals in this country and abroad are using methods of anesthesia rather similar to those employed one hundred years ago. In many surgical amphitheaters, attempts to employ newer methods of anesthesia by poorly qualified personnel have resulted in an even greater incidence of death.
A large group of fatalities occurring during or shortly after anesthesia has never been studied by a group of anesthesiologists located at different institutions by open discussion. For eleven years, the Anesthesia Study Commission of the Philadelphia County Medical Society has been meeting to discuss such fatalities that were
RUTH HS, HAUGEN FP, GROVE DD. ANESTHESIA STUDY COMMISSIONFindings of Eleven Years' Activity. JAMA. 1947;135(14):881–884. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02890140001001
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