Generally, a spinal anaesthesia is given to an expectant mom when she is wheeled into the OT (operating theatre) for a caesarean surgery. A general anaesthesia is usually avoided. However, there are certain circumstances when a general anaesthesia is preferred over spinal anaesthesia. Dr Kavitha Lakshmi Easwaran, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Bengaluru explains when a general anaesthesia is given during a c-section.
When is a general anaesthesia given?
A general anaesthesia is given when it is seen that a spinal anaesthesia isn’t the best choice for the surgery. It is usually given when an urgent c-section is required due to internal bleeding or fetal distress and there isn’t much time to wait for a spinal anaesthesia to work. Unlike the general anaesthesia which shows results immediately and puts the mother into an unconscious state, the spinal anaesthesia takes some time to act and make the lower body of the mother go numb. Know what is the difference between an epidural anaesthesia and spinal anaesthesia.
Is general anaesthesia safe for the baby?
The amount of medicine used to make the mother unconscious has very little effect on the baby. Even though the mother is asleep under the effect of the analgesic the baby is still active in the womb, which proves that general anaesthesia doesn’t affect the well-being of the baby. The mother’s breathing, heart rate and blood pressure are all monitored when under general anaesthesia. The anaesthesiologist keeps a check on the mother’s vital signs under the effect of anaesthetics.
How is general anaesthesia given?
It involves putting the mother completely to sleep for the procedure. The mother is be moved to the OT bed and then prepared for surgery. Once the drapes are placed and the doctor is ready to proceed, the anaesthesiologist will inject the medicine in the IV to put patient to sleep. After the mother falls asleep, a tube will be inserted into the mouth and down the airway to manage the breathing. At the end of the surgery, all tubes will be removed from the mouth. The mother wakes up in the recovery room after few hours. Here are 15 mistakes to avoid after a c-section.
Are there any side effects of general anaesthesia?
Some side effects of general anaesthesia include:
Nausea: Since the mother is on an empty stomach before the surgery, she feels nauseous when she comes to her senses as the effects of the analgesic wear off. This symptom can be successfully treated with medication given in the recovery room.
Pain: During the c-section, narcotics drugs are administered through the IV so that the mother wakes up with minimal or no pain. Once the mother comes to her senses in the recovery room she might sense some amount of post-surgery pain and need painkiller injections to soothe the same.
A sore throat: This symptom may result from having had a tube placed in the airway while under general anaesthesia. Normally, the throat will be better within three days.
What precautions does one need to take during a general anaesthesia?
There isn’t any precaution that needs to be taken during the procedure, but if it is planned beforehand then the mother is advised not to eat anything before the surgery. If there is food or liquids in the stomach there are chances that during the surgery the contents can move from the stomach to the windpipe and then to the lungs and cause pneumonia or breathing problems. If it is an emergency c-section and the mother had to go for general anaesthesia the anaesthesiologist needs to take extra care to see that the food particles don’t enter the breathing passage by putting a breathing tube into the mouth and windpipe.
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Published: October 21, 2017 9:01 am