Obesity is a worldwide epidemic. It is associated with increased comorbidities and increased maternal, fetal, and neonatal complications. The risk of cesarean delivery is also increased in obese parturients. Anesthetic management of the obese parturient is challenging and requires adequate planning. Therefore, those patients should be referred to antenatal anesthetic consultation. Anesthesia-related complications and maternal mortality are increased in this patient population. The risk of difficult intubation is increased in obese patients. Neuraxial techniques are the preferred anesthetic techniques for cesarean delivery in obese parturients but can be technically challenging. An existing labor epidural catheter can be topped up for cesarean delivery. In patients who do not have a well-functioning labor epidural, a combined spinal epidural technique might be preferred over a single-shot spinal technique since it is technically easier in obese parturients and allows for extending the duration of the block as required. A continuous spinal technique can also be considered. Studies suggest that there is no need to reduce the dose of spinal bupivacaine in the obese parturient, but there is little data about spinal dosing in super obese parturients. Intraoperatively, patients should be placed in a ramped position, with close monitoring of ventilation and hemodynamic status. Adequate postoperative analgesia is crucial to allow for early mobilization. This can be achieved using a multimodal regimen incorporating neuraxial morphine (with appropriate observations) with scheduled nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen. Thromboprophylaxis is also important in this patient population due to the increased risk of thromboembolic complications. These patients should be monitored carefully in the postoperative period, since there is increased risk of postoperative complications in the morbidly obese parturients.
BACKGROUND: Perioperative warming is recommended for surgery under anaesthesia, however its role during Caesarean delivery remains unclear. This meta-analysis aimed to determine the efficacy of active warming on outcomes after elective Caesarean delivery.
METHODS: We searched databases for randomized controlled trials utilizing forced air warming or warmed fluid within 30 min of neuraxial anaesthesia placement. Primary outcome was maximum temperature change. Secondary outcomes included maternal (end of surgery temperature, shivering, thermal comfort, hypothermia) and neonatal (temperature, umbilical cord pH and Apgar scores) outcomes. Standardized mean difference/mean difference/risk ratio (SMD/MD/RR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated using random effects modelling (CMA, version 2, 2005). RESULTS: 13 studies met our criteria and 789 patients (416 warmed and 373 controls) were analysed for the primary outcome. Warming reduced temperature change (SMD -1.27°C [-1.86, -0.69]; P=0.00002); resulted in higher end of surgery temperatures (MD 0.43 °C [0.27, 0.59]; P<0.00001); was associated with less shivering (RR 0.58 [0.43, 0.79]; P=0.0004); improved thermal comfort (SMD 0.90 [0.36, 1.45]; P=0.001), and decreased hypothermia (RR 0.66 [0.50, 0.87]; P=0.003). Umbilical artery pH was higher in the warmed group (MD 0.02 [0, 0.05]; P=0.04). Egger's test (P=0.001) and contour-enhanced funnel plot suggest a risk of publication bias for the primary outcome of temperature change. CONCLUSIONS: Active warming for elective Caesarean delivery decreases perioperative temperature reduction and the incidence of hypothermia and shivering. These findings suggest that forced air warming or warmed fluid should be used for elective Caesarean delivery.
Vasopressors are routinely used to counteract hypotension after neuraxial anesthesia in Obstetrics. The understanding of the mechanism of hypotension and the choice of vasopressor has evolved over the years to a point where phenylephrine has become the preferred vasopressor. Due to the absence of definitive evidence showing absolute clinical benefit of one over the other, especially in emergency and high-risk Cesarean sections, our choice of phenylephrine over the other vasopressors like mephentermine, metaraminol, and ephedrine is guided by indirect evidence on fetal acid-base status. This review article evaluates the present day evidence on the various vasopressors used in obstetric anesthesia today.