Monday, January 26, 2009

New research on cesarean surgery techniques

Hypotension and Nausea during surgey
When I saw this new study from Canada by M Tanaka et al, 'ED95 of phenylephrine to prevent spinal-induced hypotension and/or nausea at elective cesarean delivery', it reminded me of my own experience during the birth of my daughter in 2007. The anesthetist had warned me prior to the start of surgery that I may experience some nausea, and to let him know if I did as he would be able to administer something for it. Well, I did, and he did, and in truth, I have no idea what the drug was, but I felt better almost immediately.

For those of who would like to be able to discuss this occurence of nausea and its treatment during your cesarean surgery in more detail (with your OBGYN or anesthetist), you might find this study interesting. It set out to "determine the 95% effective dose (ED95) of phenylephrine by intermittent i.v. bolus, to prevent spinal-induced hypotension and/or nausea at elective cesarean delivery" and involved 50 patients undergoing elective cesarean delivery under spinal anesthesia.

The study results
"The ED95 of phenylephrine was estimated as 159 mug (95% confidence interval: 122-371 mug), although the largest dose given in the study was only 120 mug. Hypertension (systolic blood pressure >120% of baseline) was observed in 14 cases, immediately after intrathecal injection and prophylactic phenylephrine administration in all cases." The authors conclude that the "safety of this dose warrants further studies."

Blood loss following surgery
This second study from Iran, 'Efficacy of tranexamic acid in reducing blood loss after cesarean section' by L Sekhavat et al, was conducted on 90 primiparas divided into two groups who underwent cesarean delivery. "The study group, 45 women, received tranexamic acid immediately before CS, whereas the control group, 45 women received placebo" and then blood loss volume for each group was measured from the end of surgery to 2 hours postpartum.

Study conclusions
The authors conclude that: "Tranexamic acid statistically reduces blood loss from end to 2 h after CS and its use was not associated with any side effects or complications. Consequently, tranexamic acid can be used safely and effectively to reduce bleeding resulting from CS." My second baby is due shortly, and a cesarean delivery is planned, so I will certainly be asking my doctor about whether the findings in this study are relevant to my potential recovery experience.

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