Annals of Biomedical Sciences

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Intraoperative anaesthetic complications following spinal anaesthesia for caesarean section: A prospective study in a tertiary setting

C.A. Imarengiaye, N.Q. Okojie


Postoperative outcomes may involve anaesthetic complications. General anaesthesia has been implicated in poor anaesthetic outcomes. The reduction in anaesthesia related complications have been observed following the introduction of regional techniques.1,2 The use of subarachnoid block has become an established and reliable method of providing anaesthesia for lower abdominal, obstetric and lower limb surgeriesdue to its ease of performance, rapid onset of action and cost effectiveness. Despite the speculated advantages, complications may followspinal anaesthesia, at least, from anecdotal reports.

Therefore, this study aimed to determine the intraoperative complications and the clinical correlates in parturient undergoing caesarean section under spinal anaesthesia.

Methods: One hundred and twenty five consecutive parturient scheduled for caesarean section under spinal anaesthesia were recruited for the study after approval by the Institutional Research and Ethics Committee. Patient’s demographic characteristics, indication for caesarean section and intraoperative events, management of complications and outcome were documented.

Results: Cardiovascular complications werehighest (44.8%) subsequently followed by shivering (27.3%), pain (5.2%), drowsiness (4.5%), vomiting (3.2%) amongst others. Hypotension, tachycardia, bradycardia and elevated blood pressure were the commonest cardiovascular complications.

Conclusion: Subarachnoid block for caesarean section is associated mainly with cardiovascular complications. Its routine use in obstetrics should consider the cardiovascular reserve of the patients.

AJOL African Journals Online