New drugs, procedures, take the pain out of anesthesia

07/28/2004 | NYTimes.com

Deaths from anesthesia in generally healthy patients have declined dramatically in the past two decades, decreasing from one in 10,000 to one in 250,000, as new drugs and procedures make anesthesia safer and more comfortable. Whereas procedures involving anesthesia used to almost always require a hospital stay, now, almost half of all surgeries are conducted on an outpatient basis.

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