Spinal anesthesia is a specialized field and requires extreme caution before, during and after the procedure. It is important for not only the doctor, but also the patient to know about the precautions to be taken. If a patient is aware about these precautions, he or she will be more confident about the procedure, and the entire experience will be more comfortable.
Precautions before Spinal Anesthesia
- A complete blood and urine test should be taken before the procedure.
- A complete medical history should be compiled and kept at hand.
- Any history of allergies or drug resistance should be brought to the attention of the doctor who is going to do the procedure.
- If the patient has a history of blood-clotting related problems, this also should be kept in mind during the surgery.
- The age of the patient is a very important fact to be taken into consideration. People of different ages respond differently to different anesthetics.
- Clean and sterile conditions should be maintained at all times, before and after the surgery.
Precautions after Spinal Anesthesia
- Usually, the patient will be able to return home shortly after the procedure following a brief wait in the recovery room. However, there are a few precautions to be taken as given below:
- The patient should be accompanied by a companion until the effect of the anesthesia has worn off.
- Heavy physical activity should be avoided, especially lifting of heavy loads.
- The access point should be kept hygienically clean and dry.
- Any seepage of fluid from the access point should be immediately reported to the doctor.
- Excessive headache, numbness of the limbs or pain in the extremities should be brought to the attention of the doctor immediately.
- Medication as prescribed by the doctor should be taken without fail.
Recovery from Spinal Anesthesia
- The patient has to be kept for a period of time in the recovery room in the same manner as any other patient who has been anesthetized.
- The staff should be watchful for hypotension.
- With the occurrence of hypotension, the patient’s legs should be elevated.
- Intravenous fluids should be increased; oxygen given and the anesthetist should be summoned.
- If hypotension occurs, more doses of vasoconstrictors or fluids may be required.
- If all is under control, the patient should be advised properly regarding the duration of the effect of the spinal block.
- The patient must remain confined to the bed until the effect of the spinal block is completely gone.
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