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Anaesthetic-related deaths fall but action still needed

Anaesthetic-related deaths fall but action still needed
24th September 2012

The number of deaths following the use of anaesthetic has dropped across the globe, but more still needs to be done to address income-related disparities in outcomes.

This is the finding of a recent study published in The Lancet, which looked at data from 87 studies worldwide over the past 50 years.

It was observed that post-anaesthetic deaths have declined by as much as 90 per cent since before the 1970s.

What's more, over the same period the risk of dying from any cause within two days of surgery has decreased by 88 per cent.

However, there is still a disparity between high income and low income countries. Researchers on the study claim that more needs to be done to address these inequalities and the improvement in outcomes across the board should not be an excuse to relax.

Dr Daniel Bainbridge, leader of the study, commented: "Although anaesthetic mortality remains low compared with traffic fatalities or suicide, it still remains high compared with death caused by air travel, which is a commonly used yardstick to measure risk."

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