Clonidine as an adjuvant to bupivacaine in spinal anaesthesia for infra-umbilical surgeries in children: a prospective randomized, double-blind trial
Objective: Spinal anaesthesia (SA) is a well-established technique for infra-umbilical surgeries but is underutilized in children. One important reason is the limited duration of action. Clonidine is a useful adjuvant in this regard but has not been studied in a dose of 1.5 μg/kg.
Design: a prospective randomized study
Setting: A single centre study conducted at a Super speciality paediatric tertiary care centre.
Participants: Sixty children (5-12yrs) scheduled for lower abdominal surgery with duration <90min were included.
Interventions: The participants were randomized into two groups to receive 0.4mg/kg of 0.5% hyperbaric bupivacaine with clonidine 1.5μg/kg (Group-I, n=30) or 0.4mg/kg of 0.5% hyperbaric bupivacaine with saline(Group-II, n=30) in the subarachnoid block.
Main outcome measures: The sensory and motor block duration, time to two-segment regression, time to first rescue analgesic, and the number of rescue doses required were recorded.
Results: Mean duration of sensory blockade (147.5±7.28 vs 310.33±10.17min; P<0.001) and motor blockade (132.5±10.06 vs 283.33±11.77min; P < 0.001) and duration of analgesia (172±9.61 vs 364.50±28.75min; P < 0.001) were significantly prolonged in the clonidine group. In the control group, most patients needed three analgesic doses over 24hr while in the clonidine group, the majority needed two doses. Adverse effects were infrequent in both groups.
Conclusions: Clonidine as an adjuvant to 0.5% hyperbaric bupivacaine significantly prolonged the duration of analgesia with improved quality of anaesthesia while maintaining safety. We recommend the routine use of clonidine 1.5 μg/kg dose as an adjuvant to 0.5% bupivacaine in paediatric SA.
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