• Reg Anesth Pain Med · Jun 2021

    Neonatal and early childhood outcomes following maternal anesthesia for cesarean section: a population-based cohort study.

    • Rachel Joyce Kearns, Martin Shaw, Piotr S Gromski, Stamatina Iliodromiti, Jill P Pell, Deborah A Lawlor, and Scott M Nelson.
    • School of Medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK rachel.kearns@glasgow.ac.uk.
    • Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2021 Jun 1; 46 (6): 482489482-489.

    BackgroundThe fetus is vulnerable to maternal drug exposure. We determined associations of exposure to spinal, epidural, or general anesthesia on neonatal and childhood development outcomes during the first 1000 days of life.MethodsPopulation-based study of all singleton, cesarean livebirths of 24+0 to 43+6 weeks gestation between January 2007 and December 2016 in Scotland, stratified by urgency with follow-up to age 2 years. Models were adjusted for: maternal age, weight, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, smoking, drug-use, induction, parity, previous cesarean or abortion, pre-eclampsia, gestation, birth weight, and sex.Results140 866 mothers underwent cesarean section (41.2% (57,971/140,866) elective, 58.8% (82,895/140,866) emergency) with general anesthesia used in 3.2% (1877/57,971) elective and 9.8% (8158/82,895) of emergency cases. In elective cases, general anesthesia versus spinal was associated with: neonatal resuscitation (crude event rate 16.2% vs 1.9% (adjusted RR 8.20, 95% CI 7.20 to 9.33), Apgar <7 at 5 min (4.6% vs 0.4% (adjRR 11.44, 95% CI 8.88 to 14.75)), and neonatal admission (8.6% vs 4.9% (adjRR 1.65, 95% CI 1.40 to 1.94)). Associations were similar in emergencies; resuscitation (32.2% vs 12.3% (adjRR 2.40, 95% CI 2.30 to 2.50)), Apgar <7 (12.6% vs 2.8% (adjRR 3.87, 95% CI 3.56 to 4.20), and admission (31.6% vs 19.9% (adjRR 1.20, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.25). There was a weak association between general anesthesia in emergency cases and having ≥1 concern noted in developmental assessment at 2 years (21.0% vs 16.5% (adjRR 1.08, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.16)).ConclusionsGeneral anesthesia for cesarean section, irrespective of urgency, is associated with neonatal resuscitation, low Apgar, and neonatal unit admission. Associations were strongest in non-urgent cases and at term. Further evaluation of long-term outcomes is warranted.© American Society of Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine 2021. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

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