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Minerva Medica 2011 December;102(6):501-4

language: English

Cardiorespiratory effects of change in posture after spinal anesthesia with hyperbaric bupivacaine

Rafaniello C. 1, Ianniello B. 1, De Vizia M. 2, Mercogliano A. 2, Lettieri B. 2, Rinaldi B. 1, Rossi F. 1, Capuano A. 1

1 Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Pharmacology “Leonardo Donatelli”, Center of Pharmacosurveillance and Pharmacoepidemiology, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy;
2 Department of Anesthesiology and Emergency, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy


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Spinal anesthesia is a special regional anesthetic technique that is applied in lower limb orthopedic and other surgical procedures made below the transverse umbilical line, which is able to produce a neuraxial central block. The patient’s position, together with the baricity of the drug solution injected, is a variable that can affect the success of anaesthesia.
According to clinical practice, lateral decubitus or the sitting position are to be maintained for a period ranging from 15 to 20 minutes to avoid any possible motion of the injected solution that could cause side effects due to anesthetic being distributed up to thoracic segments.
We describe a case of cardiovascular and respiratory effects occurred approximately 65 min after spinal anesthesia with 7 mg of 1% hyperbaric bupivacaine in a patient during change in posture from mild anti-Trendelemburg to supine decubitus. These findings show that a change in posture after spinal anaesthesia with hyperbaric bupivacaine can affect the safety of this anesthesia technique, also after a longer period of time than is usually recommended to avoid the spread of anaesthetic drug.

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