oa Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia - Lethal anaesthesia : infamous deaths from the history of the profession : congress prize abstracts
SASA Registrar Communication Prize
"How wonderful is Death, Death, and his brother Sleep!" Percy Bysshe Shelley
Everyday our patients walk the fine line between sleep, anaesthesia and death. According to the WHO webpage avoidable surgical complications still account for a large proportion of preventable deaths globally. Despite dramatic improvements in surgical safety knowledge, studies in developing countries suggest a death rate of 5-10% associated with major surgery. The rate of mortality during general anaesthesia is reported to be as high as 1 in 150 in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The history of our profession reads like a great morbidity and mortality review. To this day, surgery is still not safe. This presentation remembers four stories of lethal anaesthesia from different periods in the history.
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