Sudden death following psychiatric electroconvulsive therapy: A case report

B. L. Zhu, K. Ishida, S. Oritani, M. Q. Fujita, H. Maeda, T. Tanaka, N. Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We report a case of sudden death following psychiatric electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). A schizophrenic patient with manic excitement (39-year-old male) in a mental hospital died while vomiting immediately after ECT. The cause of death was diagnosed as asphyxia due to aspiration of vomitus (choking). It is now considered that ECT is an effective treatment for a range of psychiatric disorders and the benefit-risk ratio is equal to or greater than that of psychoactive drugs. Recently, however, there have been 2 other forensic autopsy reports of death due to ECT in Japan. These cases suggest that more effort and careful management are necessary to prevent the accidental deaths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-152
Number of pages4
JournalJapanese Journal of Legal Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Asphyxia
  • Complication
  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Iatrogenic fatality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Law


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