• #### 科普

SCIENCE

#### 英语

ENGLISH

#### 科技

TECHNOLOGY

MOVIE

FOOD

#### 励志

INSPIRATIONS

#### 社会

SOCIETY

TRAVEL

#### 动物

ANIMALS

KIDS

#### 卡通

CARTOON

#### 计算机

COMPUTER

#### 心理

PSYCHOLOGY

#### 教育

EDUCATION

#### 手工

HANDCRAFTS

#### 趣闻

MYSTERIES

CAREER

GEEKS

#### 时尚

FASHION

• 精品课
• 公开课
• 欢迎下载我们在各应用市场备受好评的APP

点击下载Android最新版本

点击下载iOS最新版本

扫码下载译学馆APP

#### 微死亡：麻醉的风险有多大？

Micromorts: How Risky Is It to Go Under Anesthesia?

Hundreds of millions of operations are performed every year,

and the risk of death is typically around a half a percent,

to which patients might say things like,

“I could die just as easily crossing the road,”
“只是简单地过个马路 我也可能会死啊”
making it clear they really don’t understand

the difference in magnitude of risk.

One way to communicate risk is by analogy.

For example, just going under anesthetic carries about

a 1 in 100,000 chance you won’t wake up. How much is that?

Well, that’s about the same risk as an expert sky dive.

Okay, but that still may be kind of hard to wrap your head around.

It’s hard to think in terms of small numbers.

Imagine discussing a 0.0017 mile x 0.00227 mile rug.

How big even is that? We need more digestible units.

Enter the micromort as a unit of comparing

and communicating risk to patients.

A micromort is a unit equivalent to one in a million chance of dying.

One in a million is like the chances of ﬂipping a coin

and getting 20 heads or tails in a row,

or a little less than the chances of getting a royal flush.

But the real utility is to help compare different risks to one another,

using the same metric.

For example, driving a hundred miles entails about

a one in a million chance of death, so that’s one micromort.

Scuba diving is like five micromorts per dive;

so, each dive is as risky as driving 500 miles.

So, now we have a way to directly compare the risk

of surgical procedures and common activities.

Giving birth is as risky as driving from NY to LA and then back again,

but getting a cesarean is more than twice as risky.

Even something like a simple hernia repair carries the same risk

of dying as like sky diving 200 times.

Now obviously, sometimes you have no choice,

but death from varicose vein surgery

or circumcision probably be avoided.

I was surprised to learn that

regular horseback riding is like four times deadlier than rock climbing,

is riskier than rock-climbing for 500 years,

driving 5 million miles, or jumping 5,000 sky dives, etc.

in How Not to Die is accidental death.

We have approximately a one in a million chance of dying

just by accident every day of our lives,

and about half of that risk is dying in a car crash,

based on U.S. averages.

Then, there are all sorts of other ways.

I am surprised to learn

Americans have about a 1 in 200,000 chance every year of dying

from a foreign body entering an orifice other than the mouth.

Other things we may want to avoid include climbing Mount Everest,

about 30 times riskier than coal mining or base jumping.

Trains and planes are actually equivalent over the same distance,

but riding a motorcycle is about 50 times deadlier than riding in a car,

though cycling to a destination is riskier too,

Here’s a good example of how one can use micromort comparisons

to help put things in perspective.

Certain types of breast implants can cause a rare type of cancer,

a type of breast implant- associated lymphoma.

You can imagine how scary this is

for the millions of women who have implants,

but check out the risk compared to the risk of other common activities.

Your risk of dying from this kind of cancer is less

than a single day of skiing.

Now, it’s probably better to die quick on the slopes

than all the slow suffering of cancer,

and risk of bankrupting your family,

but at least it can put the risk of

the implant-cancer killing you in context.