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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care
ANAESTHESIA SMART 2003 - Milan, may 28-30, 2003
Minerva Anestesiologica 2003 May;69(5):392-401
Prevention of hypotension in spinal anaesthesia carried out for caesarean section
Nobili C., Sofi G., Bisicchia C.
Dipartimento di Anestesia e Rianimazione, Clinica Mangiagalli, Istituti Clinici di Perfezionamento, Milano, Italia
After describing the most commonly applied obstetric indications for caesarean section and the respective percentages reported in countries that are comparable with Italy in terms of health care standards, the clinical reasons and requirements on the basis of which it is considered that spinal anaesthesia is first choice compared to general anaesthesia in obstetrical surgery are outlined. This evidence is confirmed by the spinal anaesthesia/general anaesthesia ratio encountered in the major national and international Obstetric Hospitals.
Maternal hypotension remains the most frequent and clinically important complication consequent on spinal anaesthesia in pregnant women at term. The aetiology, frequency and clinical consequences for mother and foetus of severe maternal hypotension and the need to implement effective preventive therapeutic strategies are therefore discussed.
The procedures for preventing maternal hypotension are described and for each procedure its validity and standardisation are assessed. It is pointed out that certain procedures have become part of standard practice but their effectiveness has not yet been confirmed while others are not only ineffective but also expose mother and foetus to potential complications. For others again the jury is still out on their real effectiveness.
Finally, the techniques that are currently considered to be effective and shared by the majority of authors are described and these must therefore be included in the procedural protocols regarding spinal anaesthesia for caesarean section.