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Germany

Under The Knife, At Risk: Study Shows Rising Death Rates From General Anesthesia

Modern medicine makes it possible to perform ever riskier operations on ever older patients. The result? A rising rate of post-anesthesia deaths, according to a study published in the Germany Medical Association's Deutsches Ärzteblatt journal.

About 7 out of every 1 million patients placed under general anesthesia die
About 7 out of every 1 million patients placed under general anesthesia die
Andreas Fischer

People have always been afraid of general anesthesia. Many fear they won't wake up from this "artificial sleep" – actually more of a coma, albeit drug-induced and reversible. In the 1940s, for every one million patients operated on under full anesthesia, 640 died. By the end of the 1980s, fatalities were down to four per every million, thanks to modern safety standards and better medical training.

However, a recent article published in the Deutsches Ärzteblatt, the German Medical Association's official international science journal, shows that after decades of decline, the worldwide death rate during full anesthesia is back on the rise, to about seven patients in every million. And the number of deaths within a year after a general anesthesia is frighteningly high: one in 20. In the over-65 age group, it's one in 10.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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