How safe is anaesthesia in Libya?

Original article


Husni Ajaj 1, Evan Pansalovich 2

1-Assistant professor and Consultant anesthetist ,Central Hospital, Tripoli Libya 2-Consultant Anaesthatest,Central Hospital, Tripoli Libya

The Internet Journal of Health. 2005. Volume 4 Number 2.


During the study period (January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2004) 17 326 anesthetics were performed. 16313 anesthetic procedures or 94. 2 % of total anesthetics were performed.
9 anaesthesia intraoperative and early postoperative (24 hours) mortalities were identified. It gave the overall mortality rate of 1 per 1925 operated patients.
Despite the small number of anaesthetics that have been investigated, this study gives some insight into the incidence of perioperative mortality and major morbidity associated and not associated with anaesthesia in Libya. Our current data suggest an overall perioperative mortality rate of approximately 1/ 1925 anesthetics.
One fatal outcome intraoperatively (airway difficulties) was directly related to anaesthetic management ( 1 per 17 326) , two mortalities ( intraoperative hemorrage and postoperative MI ) were partially attributable to anaesthesia ( 1 per 8663) and 6 perioperative mortalities were probably not attributable directly to anaesthetic management. Patient disease or other environmental factors have always been felt to be contributory. In 2-3 of 9 expired patients the deaths were considered to have been avoidable. Inadequate preparation and assessment of the patient contributed to 2 of the anaesthesia-related deaths. Mortality was greater for emergency than for elective operations as 6 to 3.
We conclude main factors determined the mortality rate were the physical status of the patient and the skill and judgment of the anaesthesiologists . Anaesthesia in Libya appears safer than ever. Nevertheless, things still go wrong and may cause significant patient harm. Anesthetic mortality is the tip of the iceberg of mortality attributable to patients condition and extent of surgery. A non-punitive approach to registration an analysis of mortality may improve safety of anaesthesia.

Keywords: Anaesthesia safety, Libya