Original ArticleMorbidity and Mortality in the Use of Electroconvulsive TherapyNuttall, Gregory A. MD*; Bowersox, Monique R. SRNA†; Douglass, Stephanie B. SRNA†; McDonald, Jenny SRNA†; Rasmussen, Laura J. SRNA†; Decker, Paul A. MS§; Oliver, William C. Jr. MD*; Rasmussen, Keith G. MD‡ Author Information From the *Department of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, †Anesthesia Program, Mayo School of Health Related Sciences, ‡Department of Psychiatry, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and §Department of Health Sciences Research, Division of Biostatics, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota. Received for publication July 10, 2004; accepted September 21, 2004. Supported by Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Reprints: Keith G. Rasmussen, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905 (e-mail: [email protected]). The Journal of ECT: December 2004 - Volume 20 - Issue 4 - p 237-241 Buy Abstract There are a few large studies of the morbidity and mortality of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). To add data to this literature, we performed a retrospective review of all the patients who underwent ECT at our institution between January 1, 1988, through December 31, 2001. We identified 2,279 patients who were given 17,394 ECT treatments during their first series. The median number of treatments received per patient was 7. Twenty-one patients (0.92%) experienced a complication at some time during their first series of ECT treatments. Cardiac complications, mostly arrhythmias, constituted the majority. However, none of the complications caused permanent injury, and none of the patients died during or immediately after ECT. There were 18 deaths within 30 days of the final treatment, none related to ECT. These data are concordant with those of other published large series, and we conclude that ECT is an extremely safe procedure. © 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.