Orient Journal of Medicine

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Effect of Pre-medication with Atropine on the Blood Pressure of Parturient Undergoing Caesarian Section under Spinal Anaesthesia



Objective: The effect of atropine given as a prophylactic intravenous bolus on the incidence and severity of hypotension was studied in 30 patients undergoing Caesarian section under spinal (subarachnoid) anaesthesia between January and September 1999.

Method: Following the establishment of spinal anaesthesia, the patients were randomized to receive an immediate intravenous bolus of normal saline (Group A, n = 12) or 0.6mg of atropine sulphate (Group B, n = 18) in 2ml. Arterial blood pressure and heart rate were recorded every 3 minutes. The patients were asked to report any symptoms of nausea or fainting.

Results: Both the incidence and severity of hypotension were reduced in the patients that had atropine prophylaxis (Group B) compared with the control group that received normal saline (Group A). The difference, however, did not reach statistical significance when tested with Chi-square statistic.

Conclusion: In view of the improved maternal haemodynamic parameters, parturients undergoing Caesarian section under spinal anaesthesia may benefit from a prophylactic intravenous bolus of atropine.

Key Words: Obstetric anaesthesia, Spinal Anaesthesia, Subarachnoid anaesthesia, Atropine prophylaxis.

Orient Journal of Medicine Vol.15(1&2) 2003: 1-4
AJOL African Journals Online