27 doctors weighed in:
Can you die from general anesthesia?
27 doctors weighed in

Dr. Edward Neilsen
Family Medicine
13 doctors agree
In brief: Very rare
General anesthesia is very commonly used today, with extremely rare complications.
Nothing is 100% safe, but this is much, much safer than even 10 years ago.

In brief: Very rare
General anesthesia is very commonly used today, with extremely rare complications.
Nothing is 100% safe, but this is much, much safer than even 10 years ago.
Dr. Edward Neilsen
Dr. Edward Neilsen
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Dr. Karen Sibert
Anesthesiology
10 doctors agree
In brief: Yes, very rarely
Deaths under anesthesia fortunately are very rare.
They mostly occur when patients are already critically ill--major injuries or heart disease, for example. There is also a rare hereditary condition called "malignant hyperthermia" which makes certain anesthesia drugs dangerous for those patients. The vast majority of patients can tolerate general anesthesia without any problem.

In brief: Yes, very rarely
Deaths under anesthesia fortunately are very rare.
They mostly occur when patients are already critically ill--major injuries or heart disease, for example. There is also a rare hereditary condition called "malignant hyperthermia" which makes certain anesthesia drugs dangerous for those patients. The vast majority of patients can tolerate general anesthesia without any problem.
Dr. Karen Sibert
Dr. Karen Sibert
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Dr. John Stork
Anesthesiology
6 doctors agree
In brief: Yes, but rarely
Anesthesia needs to be administered by professionals trained in its use, such as anesthesiologists and crnas.
In otherwise healthy patients, anesthesia is very safe, and in fact, over the past 20 years the risk of anesthesia has markedly decreased, due to better training, and better technology amd monitoring, such as the routine use of pulse oximetry and capnography.

In brief: Yes, but rarely
Anesthesia needs to be administered by professionals trained in its use, such as anesthesiologists and crnas.
In otherwise healthy patients, anesthesia is very safe, and in fact, over the past 20 years the risk of anesthesia has markedly decreased, due to better training, and better technology amd monitoring, such as the routine use of pulse oximetry and capnography.
Dr. John Stork
Dr. John Stork
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Dr. Timothy Ashley
Internal Medicine & Pediatrics
6 doctors agree
In brief: Very rarely
The medications used for anesthesia are certainly capable of causing death, but in a modern surgical setting, a professional anesthesia provider is always present and following many parameters of the patient's well-being, making frequent adjustments to avoid harm. Any procedure that requires general will carry some risk, but the risks are minimized through careful management.

In brief: Very rarely
The medications used for anesthesia are certainly capable of causing death, but in a modern surgical setting, a professional anesthesia provider is always present and following many parameters of the patient's well-being, making frequent adjustments to avoid harm. Any procedure that requires general will carry some risk, but the risks are minimized through careful management.
Dr. Timothy Ashley
Dr. Timothy Ashley
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Dr. Scott Mackinnon
Anesthesiology
2 doctors agree
In brief: Yes, but unlikely
Carefully administered, safe anesthesia rarely(i mean rarely-you have a greater chance of dying in a car accident on the way to the grocery store) causes death.
With todays technology, excellent training of highly qualified individuals, it is safer than ever before.

In brief: Yes, but unlikely
Carefully administered, safe anesthesia rarely(i mean rarely-you have a greater chance of dying in a car accident on the way to the grocery store) causes death.
With todays technology, excellent training of highly qualified individuals, it is safer than ever before.
Dr. Scott Mackinnon
Dr. Scott Mackinnon
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Dr. Richard Pollard
Anesthesiology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Rare but possible
The risk of dying under general anesthesia is thought to be less than one in 350, 000.
In fact the number is so small we can not adequately measure it. I often tell patients that they are more likely to die from driving to the hospital than from the general anesthesia. Hope this helps.

In brief: Rare but possible
The risk of dying under general anesthesia is thought to be less than one in 350, 000.
In fact the number is so small we can not adequately measure it. I often tell patients that they are more likely to die from driving to the hospital than from the general anesthesia. Hope this helps.
Dr. Richard Pollard
Dr. Richard Pollard
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Dr. David Rosenfeld
Pain Management
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Yes but very rare
It happens but with modern drugs and monitoring it is very very rare.

In brief: Yes but very rare
It happens but with modern drugs and monitoring it is very very rare.
Dr. David Rosenfeld
Dr. David Rosenfeld
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