Mortality Among Male Anaesthetists in the United Kingdom, 1957-83

A cohort of 3769 male anaesthetists resident in the United Kingdom between 1957-1983 was followed up for a total of 51,431 person years of observation. With all men in social class I being taken as the standard, the standardised mortality ratio among anaesthetists for all causes of death was 68. 16 of the 221 deaths […]

Physician Suicide and Drug Abuse


Pediatric Death: Guidelines for the Grieving Anesthesiologist

This essay examines the effects of unexpected pediatric death on anesthesiology house staff, & offers a discussion of normal & abnormal patterns of grieving. The increased incidence of substance abuse & suicide among anesthesiologists is discussed, & the relationship of stress following patient death & appropriate coping skills is explored. A blueprint for managing stress […]

A Physician’s Suicide

This article explores a case study of a 51-year-old staff anesthesiologist who completed suicide after a 4-year-long struggle with major depression, in spite of extensive drug treatment, electroconvulsive therapy, & weekly psychotherapy. Aspects of the case are discussed in detail. (19 refs)

Mortality Among Male Anaesthetists in the United Kingdom, 1957-83

A cohort of 3769 male anaesthetists was followed up in order to determine mortality rates. 16 of the 221 deaths examined were due to suicide, giving a standardised mortality ratio of 202 when compared compared against the standard. When anaesthetists were compared with all doctors, the standardised mortality ratio for suicide was only 114, a […]

Causes of Death Among Anesthesiologists: a 20-Year Survey

During the years 1947-1966, there were 441 deaths among junior, active and retired members of the American Society of Anesthesiologists living in the United States or Canada. A cause of death was found for each member and death rates calculated for this group. Comparisons of these rates with those for U.S. males and with male […]

Link Between Anesthesia and Suicide Concern to Doctors

Morbidity Among Anaesthetists

This article examines occupational hazards experienced by anaesthetists. The authors assert environmental hazards like infections can be controlled by vaccines, & exposure to volatile anaesthetic agents is much less harmful than previously thought. However, psychological & stress-related illnesses among anaesthetists, which may predispose them to drug abuse or suicide, are much more uncontrollable. Detailed data […]

Success of Reentry Into Anesthesiology Training Programs by Residents With a History of Substance Abuse

To determine incidence & outcome of reentry into anesthesiology training programs by residents with histories of substance abuse, a survey was sent to 159 U.S. training programs. The success rate for parenteral opioid abusers was 34%, while the success rate for nonopioid abusers was 70%. There were 14 cases of suicide or lethal overdose. The […]

Critical Factors Associated with Substance Abuse and Chemical Dependency in Nurse Anesthesia

A survey was conducted to identify characteristics associated with chemical dependency among 21 chemically dependent nurse anesthetists. The survey investigated the subjects employment setting, educational background, drug history & suicidal behavior. Only 2 subjects expressed negative feelings about their profession.

A High-Risk Suicide Group: The Anesthesiologist Involved in Litigation

Anesthesiology as a medical specialty has a higher suicide rate than both the general population and other medical specialties and more than twice that of a comparable socioeconomic group. An examination of 192 lawsuits over 11 years involving 185 of the almost 400 anesthesiologists in the state of Washington revealed 4 suicides. This subgroup represents […]

Causes of Death Among Anesthesiologists: 1930-1946

Causes of death among white male anaesthesiologists from 1930-1946 were compared to causes of death for contemporaneous physicians & anaesthesiologists in later eras. 10 cases of death by suicide were identified; 8 of these were in the 45-64-year age range. The suicide rate of the anesthesiologists was nearly equal to that of contemporaneous white men […]

A Prospective Survey of Anesthesiologist Mortality, 1967-1971

From 1967-1971 there were 211 deaths among members of the American Society of Anaesthesiologists living in the U.S. & Canada. Causes of death were verified & death rates by category were calculated. The rates were compared with those of male standard ordinary policy holders of Metropolitan Life Insurance. Both overall & categorized death rates of […]

Central Nervous System Depression: Performance Decrements, Abnormal Behavior, Suicide

The effects of trace anesthetics on the performance of anesthesiologists is discussed & an overview of factors affecting performance of operating room personnel is given. These factors include drug abuse, fatigue, & environmental variables such as noise, temperature & humidity. Information on abnormal behavior & suicide is also given. Suggestions regarding further study are made. […]

The Spectrum of Medical Liability Cases

This article details a review of malpractice claim files from 1971-1982 that involved anesthesiologists in Washington State. Clinical findings relating to specific events & their relative incidence are presented, medicolegal implications are reviewed, & 3 specific problem areas of concern to practicing anesthesiologists are emphasized. One of these is the problem of suicide among those […]

Mortality Experience Among Anesthesiologists, 1954-1976

To determine whether anesthesiologists, because of prolonged exposure to inhalational anesthetics, might have higher death rates than other physicians, the mortality rates of members of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) for the period 1954-76 were examined. Mortality was found to be not significantly higher than for physicians. There was a high suicide rate in […]

Suicides Amongst Anaesthetists-in-Training

Dr. P. Reeve & Dr. Christine M. Linter reply, in separate letters to the editor of Anaesthesia, June, 1984, to an article by Dr. P.J. Helliwell regarding the demands of the practice of anaesthesia in relation to the suicide deaths of 5 junior staff. A reply from Dr. Helliwell is included. (NBB)

Suicide Amongst Anaesthetists-in-Training

This brief article explores the incidence of suicide among junior anaesthetists belonging to a professional association in the United Kingdom. (NBB)