Study finds anesthesia complications in cesarean deliveries are down
The findings of the study of New York state hospitals were published Thursday in the online edition of Anesthesiology, the journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).
In the study, Columbia University Medical Center Drs. Jean Guglielminotti, Guohua Li and Ruth Landau and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Dr. Cynthia Wong examined trends in major (e.g. death, cardiac arrest) and minor (e.g. headache, back pain) anesthesia-related complications, perioperative complications unrelated to anesthesia (e.g. acute heart failure, acute respiratory failure, stroke), and overall mortality in 785,854 cesarean deliveries in New York state hospitals between 2003 and 2012.
Out of the 785,854 cesarean deliveries studied, 5,715 had at least one anesthesia-related complication.
"Cesarean delivery is the most commonly performed inpatient surgical procedure in the United States, with 1.3 million cesareans being performed under epidural, spinal or general anesthesia each year," Guglielminotti said. "Women giving birth by cesarean delivery are generally at an increased risk for experiencing complications from anesthesia compared to women who deliver vaginally. However, our research shows anesthesia-related outcomes in cesarean deliveries have significantly improved."
The overall rate of major and minor anesthesia-related complications for those who received spinal or epidural anesthesia during cesarean delivery decreased 25 percent, from 8.9 per 1,000 in 2003 to 6.6 per 1,000 in 2012.