This historical landmark paper demonstrated the terribly-higher maternal mortality during cesarean section performed under general anesthesia vs regional anesthesia in the United States from 1979-1990.
This resulted in the oft-quoted statistic of being '...17 times more likely to die under a GA cesarean section than epidural or spinal.'
It is very important to note that this is a historical article and that the demonstrated very high mortality was greatly contributed to by a culture tolerating inexperienced anesthesia residents performing GA CS after-hours with limited senior support.
Hawkins followed up this study with another in 2011: Anesthesia-related maternal mortality in the United States: 1979-2002. This reassuringly showed a much improved GA CS maternal mortality from 1997-2002 (although still higher than regional CS).
The important take-home from this paper is that a GA cesarean section increases the risk of serious airway events, and if this is not managed by experienced and appropriately trained anaesthetists/anesthesiologists, will result in maternal deaths.summary
Randomized Controlled Trial Multicenter Study Clinical Trial
Mivazerol hydrochloride is a new alpha 2-adrenoceptor agonist. In vitro and animal studies have demonstrated both sympatholytic and antiischemic properties. To evaluate the safety and efficacy of mivazerol in patients during perioperative stress, this multicenter phase II clinical trial studied hemodynamic stability and myocardial ischemia in patients with coronary artery disease undergoing noncardiac surgery. ⋯ Continuous, 72-h perioperative administration of mivazerol to high-risk patients appears to be relatively safe, producing no significant hypotension or adverse events but some evidence of bradycardia not associated with adverse clinical events. Mivazerol decreased the incidence of, and treatment for, tachycardia, hypertension, and myocardial ischemia, particularly during high stress periods. Therefore, these salutary effects of mivazerol indicate further study in large-scale trials that assess mivazerol's effects on adverse cardiac outcomes, including death and myocardial infarction.
Randomized Controlled Trial Clinical Trial
Sympathetic nerve blocks relieve pain in certain chronic pain states, but the role of the sympathetic pathways in acute pain is unclear. Thus the authors wanted to determine whether a sympathetic block could reduce acute pain and hyperalgesia after a heat injury in healthy volunteers. ⋯ Sympathetic nerve block did not change acute inflammatory pain or hyperalgesia after a heat injury in human skin.
It is not always possible to predict when tracheal intubation will be difficult or impossible. The authors wanted to determine whether indirect laryngoscopy could identify patients in whom intubation was difficult. ⋯ Although in 15% of patients indirect laryngoscopy could not be performed because of excessive gag reflex, indirect laryngoscopy can serve as an effective method to predict difficult intubation.
Recent evidence suggests that the spinal cord is an important site of anesthesia that is necessary for surgical immobility, but the specific effect of anesthetics within the spinal cord is unclear. This study assessed the effect of isoflurane and nitrous oxide on spinal motoneuron excitability by monitoring the H-reflex and the F wave. ⋯ Both isoflurane alone and isoflurane plus nitrous oxide decrease H-reflex and F-wave amplitude and F-wave persistence. These effects suggest that isoflurane and nitrous oxide decrease motoneuronal excitability in the human spinal cord. This may play an important role in producing surgical immobility.