Since 1993, Texas law has required that all deaths that occur within 14 days of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) be reported to the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. This study attempted to differentiate deaths that may have been due to ECT or the associated anesthesia from those due to other causes. Among more than 8,000 patients who received 49,048 ECT treatments between 1993 and 1998, a total of 30 deaths were reported to the mental health department between 1993 and 1998. Only one death, which occurred on the same day as the ECT, could be specifically linked to the associated anesthesia. An additional four deaths could plausibly have been associated with the anesthesia, for which the calculated mortality rate is between two and ten per 100,000, but probably not with the stimulus of the ECT or seizure. The mortality rate associated with ECT (less than two per 100,000 treatments) in Texas is extremely low.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health