This study attempts to determine the anaesthetic death rate, the causes of deaths and the avoidable mortality rate (AMR) in consecutive cases. The number of anaesthetics given was 1464: 30 cases died within 24 h. The incidence of 24-h perioperative deaths per 100 anaesthetics was 2.57. In all, 50% of deaths were observed in obstetric surgery; 47% of deaths were associated with cardiovascular management, 30% with respiratory management; 93% of deaths were identified as avoidable. The AMR was 1.5% (anaesthetic AMR: 0.75%, administrative AMR: 0.68%, surgical AMR: 0.07%). Insufficient or no blood available is the only factor for administrative AMR.