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Online ISSN 1827-1596
SMART 2006 - Milan, May 10-12, 2006
Ingelmo P. M. 1, Ferri F. 2, Fumagalli R. 1
1 Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Ospedali Riuniti of Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy
2 Department of Surgery and Intensive Care University Milano Bicocca, Milan, Italy
Neuraxial blockade is commonly used to abolish sensations elicited by noxious stimuli during surgical procedures. Proven advantages of combined anesthesia include early recovery from general anesthesia and postoperative analgesia, together with likely decreases in blood loss, cardiac dysrhythmias, or ischemic events and postoperative deep vein thrombosis. The side effects of the technique are related to the dose or site of local anesthetic administration and to light general anesthesia, which can result in awareness during surgery. Varying degrees of synergistic interactions have been reported among the drugs used to achieve the anesthetic state. Spinal anaesthesia appears to have sedative effects, and local anesthetics used for neuraxial blockade have been found to reduce the induction and maintenance dosage of midazolam, thiopental, propofol and inhaled anesthetics. The growing interest in combining local and general anesthesia has led to studies investigating possible interactions between general anesthesia and local anesthetics administered via spinal or epidural routes. Neuraxial blockade reduces sedative and anesthetic requirements by decreasing ascending sensory input into the brain. This has important clinical implications, as anesthetists should expect to reduce anesthetic and sedative drug doses during neuraxial blockade, unless the blockade involves lower dermatomes alone. Clinical practice of anesthesia is a polypharmacy, wherein the anesthetic state is the net result of the action of different drugs and their interaction in the presence of a surgical stimulus.