Intended for healthcare professionals


Cardiac arrest occurs in three in 10 000 surgeries involving anaesthesia, audit finds

BMJ 2023; 383 doi: (Published 20 November 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;383:p2737
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

Cardiac arrests occur in around three in 10 000 surgeries requiring anaesthesia, with this number dropping to one in 10 000 in healthy patients undergoing routine surgery, the Royal College of Anaesthetists has reported.1

The college’s seventh national audit examined all cardiac arrests occurring during or soon after surgery in more than 300 UK hospitals between June 2021 and June 2022. The research team reported 881 cases among a caseload of 2.71 million, giving an incidence of three per 10 000.

They found that the most common causes were major bleeding (17%), very slow heart …

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