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A sequential compression mechanical pump to prevent hypotension during elective cesarean section under spinal anesthesia

Published:March 07, 2012DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijoa.2012.01.003

      Abstract

      Background

      Spinal anesthesia is a standard technique for cesarean section but can cause hypotension which may be related to venous pooling secondary to progesterone-induced decreases in vascular tone. This study investigated the use of a sequential compression mechanical pump with thigh-high sleeves with compression cycles timed to venous refilling. We hypothesized that this would recruit pooled venous blood from the lower limbs, maintain the central blood volume and thus decrease the incidence of hypotension.

      Methods

      One hundred parturients scheduled for elective cesarean section under spinal anesthesia were recruited and randomly assigned to use of either a mechanical pump (Group M) or control (Group C). A standardized protocol for co-hydration and anesthesia was followed. Hypotension, defined as a decrease in systolic blood pressure by >20% from baseline, was treated with 6-mg boluses of intravenous ephedrine. The incidence of hypotension was defined as the primary outcome. Median ephedrine requirement was taken as a measure of the severity of hypotension.

      Results

      Hypotension occurred in 12 of 47 (25.5%) patients in Group M compared to 27 of 45 (60%) in Group C (P = 0.001). The median [range] ephedrine dose was greater in Group C (12 [0–24] mg) compared to Group M (0 [0–12] mg) (P < 0.001). There was no difference between groups in the time to onset of hypotension.

      Conclusion

      The use of a sequential compression mechanical pump that detects venous refilling and cycles accordingly, reduced the incidence and severity of hypotension after spinal anesthesia for cesarean section.

      Keywords

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