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Old people and ECT: what difficulties are encountered in obtaining anaesthetics for the elderly?

  • Susan M. Benbow (a1)
Extract

Since developing an interest in the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in late life, I have received correspondence from psychiatrists describing difficulties in obtaining anaesthetics for elderly patients who are perceived as frail or physically unwell. Nevertheless, Pippard & Ellam (1981) found in their survey of the use of ECT in 1980 that 37% of courses were given to people aged 60 years and over. I decided to survey old age psychiatrists' views on ECT, and to look at difficulties encountered in obtaining anaesthetics. Old age psychiatrists specialise in the care of mentally ill elderly people and are dealing with patients who are particularly likely to have physical problems in addition to mental illnesses. Their experience of ECT is therefore of wider relevance to all who prescribe ECT for elderly or physically ill people.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Benbow, S. M. Old age psychiatrists' views on the use of ECT. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (in press).
Freeman, C., Crammer, J. L., Deakin, J. F. W., McClelland, R., Mann, S. A. & Pippard, J. (1989) The Practical Administration of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). London: Gaskell (Royal College of Psychiatrists).
Pippard, J. & Ellam, L. (1981) Electroconvulsive Treatment in Great Britain, 1980. London: Gaskell (Royal College of Psychiatrists).
Pippard, J. & Ellam, L. (1988) ECT custom and practice. Psychiatric Bulletin, 12, 473475.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Old people and ECT: what difficulties are encountered in obtaining anaesthetics for the elderly?

  • Susan M. Benbow (a1)
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