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RELAXANT ANAESTHESIA FOR ELECTROPLEXY
S. V. MARSHALL
Am J Psychiatry 1961;118:47-52.
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Abstract

1. A report covering 16,275 modified electro-convulsive treatments on 2,100 patients is submitted.2. The scope and development of the procedure in the course of nearly 15 years is indicated.3. The technique and dosages employed with the preferred drugs, thiopentone and suxamethonium chloride, are outlined.4. There was no death immediately related to the therapy, but 2 patients died coincidentally during the course of their treatments.5. Prolonged but non-fatal apnoea occurred in 9 cases, being readily controlled by proper oxygen therapy. Other complications were rare and of minor character.6. The imperative need for such oxygen therapy in all patients subjected to modified electroplexy is emphasized.7. Comment is made on various examples of false emphasis, especially regarding emergency developments, that occur in the relevant literature.8. The possibility that repeated hypoxic episodes in elderly or debilitated patients might impair mental recovery is stressed.

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