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Magnets may help prevent rare complication of spinal anesthesia
Date:6/1/2012

needle, it halted the downward flow of magnetized fluid. In fact, when the magnet was moved, the fluid moved "uphill," against gravity. (A video demonstration can be viewed online at http://links.lww.com/AA/A377.)

Dr Thiele and coauthors believe that a similar technique using magnetized local anesthetic solution and exterior magnets could help to control the spread of spinal anesthesia during surgical procedures, thus providing a simple but effective additional safeguard against high spinal block. It might also be useful in controlling the spread of anesthetics in other situationsfor example, spinal anesthesia on one side of the body.

Of course, much more research is needed before a concept demonstrated in plastic tubing can be applied in patients. Among the questions to be answered is the safety of the magnetic fluidthe ferrofluid used in the experiments is not approved for use in humans, although magnetic particles are used in other medical treatments.

Other issues include the quality of anesthesia and practical matters related to applying a magnetic field in the operating room. Pending further study, the new magnetic technique "may allow anesthesia providers a second means of controlling block spread," the researchers write.


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Contact: Lisa Webb
lisa.webb@wolterskluwer.com
215-521-8319
Anesthesia and Analgesia
Source:Eurekalert

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