Less Anesthesia Needed Through Catheter

05 Jul

According to a study presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the Society of Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology, women who undergo a cesarean section  may only need half of the anesthesia dosage that is currently being administered if they are given and intrathecal catheter instead of a single spinal injection.

Among the sample of 10 patients who were given an intrathecal catheter, on average they only needed 0.6 and 1.1 mL of 0.75% hyperbaric bupivacaine to experience a T4 to T6 block, an amount which is 25-50 percent less than the published notices the same medication delivered in a single spinal injection.

The study's author J. Sudharma Ranasinghe, MD, associate professor of anesthesiology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, recommended that clinicians opting for intrathecal catheters use slow, incremental dosing to ensure patients don't receive excessive anesthesia.

"If an adequate block can be achieved with less local anesthetic, bolus injection of a spinal medication that was intended for single-shot spinal through a spinal catheter may lead to high spinal block with respiratory difficulty, aspiration risk and severe hypotension," said Dr. Ranasinghe.

David Wlody, MD, professor of clinical anesthesiology at the State University of New York-Downstate Medical Center, in New York City thinks that it's a good idea look further into these findings, but cautions that such a small sample size and the lack of the control group makes its premature to jump to any conclusions.