Anaesthesia represents a high insurance risk for the medical profession primarily for two reasons. Anaesthetists manipulate the physiology of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems and administer potentially lethal drugs which are not primarily therapeutic; consequently, when a serious accident occurs, it may result in hypoxaemia or ischaemia within seconds or minutes, culminating in death or permanent neurological damage. In addition, because the majority of patients are healthy, even minor morbidity attributed to anaesthesia or the anaesthetist may be regarded as unacceptable to the patient, even though more serious forms of morbidity which are perceived as an inevitable complication of surgery may be tolerated without complaint.


Nitrous Oxide Anaesthetic Agent Anaphylactic Reaction Anaesthetic Drug Cerebral Damage 
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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1991

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  • A. R. Aitkenhead

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