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Anaesthesia. 1990 Oct;45(10):814-20.

Admissions to the intensive care unit after complications of anaesthetic techniques over 10 years. 2. The second 5 years.

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Intensive Care Unit, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford.


Compared with the first 5 years there was a 19% increase in general anaesthetics, a 171% increase in local and (or) sedation techniques and a 9% increase in obstetric epidurals with no increase in anaesthetic staffing. In this second 5-year period, 46 patients were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit as a result of a complication of an anaesthetic technique. These patients represented 1 in 2371 anaesthetic techniques carried out in the District compared with the previous 5 years where the incidence was 1 in 1543. Seven patients died (15.2%). The complication was considered to be wholly or partially avoidable in 14 instances (30.4%). Four of these subjects died.

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