The safety of ECT in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Kathryn M. Schak, Paul S. Mueller, Roxann D. Barnes, Keith G. Rasmussen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) involves the administration of general anesthesia and assisted ventilation while the patient is apneic. Objective: Care must be taken to screen for significant pulmonary dysfunction before treatment. Very little has been written about the safety and management strategy of ECT patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Method: In this retrospective chart review, authors describe their experience with patients in recent years who had this disorder and were treated with ECT Results: Authors list recommendations for the pre-ECT work up and anesthetic management during and after the treatments. Conclusion: Recent guidelines recommend administration of patients' prescribed inhalers on the morning of ECT treatment. Also, caution is recommended when using ECT in patients taking theophylline because this drug has been associated with prolonged seizures and status epilepticus in these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-211
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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