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Electroconvulsive Therapy 

Electroconvulsive Therapy
Chapter:
Electroconvulsive Therapy
Author(s):

Lisa Ross

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780195396676.003.0026
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date: 19 July 2019

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is used in the United States for the treatment of major depression and a limited number of other psychiatric disorders. Patients require general anesthesia and airway management for this procedure, which is most often performed on psychiatric wards or in outpatient facilities. Because many of these patients are elderly and often have accompanying comorbidities, the sudden stimulus to the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems during this brief procedure creates the potential for significant cardiac and neurological complications. Despite this, ECT remains a very safe and well-tolerated procedure for inpatients as well as outpatients, as long as proper preoperative evaluation is performed and there is adherence to safe anesthesia practice guidelines.

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