Is the conventional assumption that left-lateral tilt and uterine displacement avoids aortocaval compression during Caesarean section actually valid?
50 years of assumed orthodoxy is challenged by studies showing that:
- True aortal compression is relatively uncommon (Higuchi 2015, Lee 2012).
- Caval compression is probably near-universal, but also usually not improved by a mere 15 degree tilt. (An impractical 30 degrees is more likely required for meaningful impact!) (Palmer 2015).
- Caval compression probably has limited haemodynamic or fetal consequences in the fit, well, term parturient (Higuchi 2015; Lee 2012).
- Judicious use of vasopressor infusions may obviate the need for traditional uterine displacement (Lee 2017; Farber 2017).
Time to change practice then?
Not quite yet...summary