Mortality | Systemic Morbidity | Cognitive and Cerebral Morbidity
The risk of death with ECT is very low: approximately 1 per 10,000
patients (Abrams 2002; American Psychiatric Association 2001), comparable to the rate expected from a series of brief anesthetic
procedures alone. Most deaths occur in the above-noted high-risk
cases. The most common cause of death with ECT is cardiovascular
decompensation; other causes include prolonged apnea, status epilepticus,
and cerebral herniation (e.g., in unrecognized cases of brain tumor).