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Choice of Anesthesia in C-section

There was very little significant difference found with respect to major clinical outcomes in the choice of anesthesia employed during C-section. Some women, however had lower blood counts and shivering after C-section //with general anesthesia and some experienced more nausea and vomiting with regional anesthesia.

This was the first such review to consider both neonatal and maternal outcomes related to regional or general anesthesia used during C-section. Previous reviews have considered only the baby's well-being -- not also the mom's.

"We found no evidence to suggest that one form of anesthesia was superior to the other for Caesarean section, when comparing general with regional anesthesia, in terms of major outcomes such as the well being of the baby," said lead author Dr. Bosede B. Afolabi, a senior lecturer and consultant at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the College of Medicine/Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria.

The review appears in the current issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

For the review, the authors analyzed sixteen randomized controlled trials involving 1586 women who had given birth by C-section. The women had received either regional or general anesthesia.

Multiple newborn outcome measures were considered in the review, including neonatal death, Apgar scores, umbilical pH, neonatal adaptive capacity scores and need for oxygen by mask or intubation.

Outcome measures involving the mom included maternal death, differences in hematocrit or hemoglobin levels (both measures of anemia) before and after C-section, incidence of postoperative wound infection, intraoperative pain, and satisfaction with
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