Electroconvulsive therapy in Texas 2010/11

The Texas department of State Health Services have recently published statistics on the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for 2011 (that is, from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2011). For the first time in a number of years there has been a slight drop in the use ECT, both in the total number of treatments and the number of reports. A report does not equate to a person, because ECT statistics in Texas are reported quarterly, so people may appear in more than one quarter. The number of people undergoing ECT in Texas in 2010/11 were therefore fewer than the 2,126 reports. For a state with a population of over 25 million this represents a relatively low use of ECT, much lower than, for example, Australia.

Women accounted for 69 per cent of the reports. 19 per cent of reports were for people aged 65 or over, slightly up on last year. 99 per cent of the reports were for patients who were consenting to treatment, unlike in some other countries, for example New Zealand and the UK, where over a quarter of those treated with ECT have not consented to it. Four deaths within 14 days of ECT were reported.

A total of 12,815 individual treatments were administered during the year, of which 3,697 were maintenance treatments.

There were 19 hospitals using ECT in Texas in 2010/11. The highest users were Cypress Creek Hospital, Houston (417 reports) and Texas West Oaks Hospital, Houston (346 reports). These two appear to be sister hospitals, or at least they have the same picture of a butterfly on their websites, and between them were responsible for over one third of the ECT reports. Two of the reports from Texas West Oaks Hospital were for under 18 year-olds; it was the only hospital in Texas to use ECT on this age group in 2010/11. Other high users were: Green Oaks Hospital, Dallas (210 reports); Zale Lipshy Hospital, Dallas (206 reports), which was the only hospital also using magnetic seizure therapy (22 reports); Seton Shoal Creek Hospital, Austin (200 reports); Methodist Transplant and Specialty Hospital, San Antonio (165 reports); Laurel Ridge Hospital, San Antonio (142 reports).

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