Obstetric Anaesthesia

Every year, around 700 deliveries take place in the Clinic for Gynaecology and Obstetrics. An anaesthetist is usually not required for the majority of deliveries.

Nevertheless, an anaesthetist is on call 24 hours a day in case a caesarean section needs to be performed.

The most modern methods of general and regional anaesthesia are also used for caesarean sections. Depending on the particular situation, we strive to keep drug dosages to a minimum for both mother and baby. This is why we prefer to use anaesthesia close to the spinal cord (spinal or peridural anaesthesia) if a caesarean section is scheduled.

We administer a general anaesthetic if swift intervention is necessary due to problems with the mother or baby.

For ‘normal’ deliveries, a peridural catheter (PDA) may be inserted at the patient's request to reduce the pain of childbirth.

For this purpose, a thin, soft and flexible plastic tube is inserted near the spinal cavity. Catheter insertion causes little discomfort because it is carried out under local anaesthetic (see figs. 1-3).

First of all, the skin and underlying tissue are anaesthetised with a local anaesthetic (fig. 1) and the plastic tube is subsequently pushed over a guide cannula (fig. 2). Once it is in the correct position, the cannula is drawn back over the inserted tube (PDC) and only the plastic tube remains (fig. 3).

A filter system is then connected to the latter to avoid contamination by bacteria. The plastic tube is subsequently secured with plaster strips so that it cannot slip out of place.

Drugs can then be administered via this tube which suppress pain yet allow the pregnant woman to actively cooperate, i.e. motor function and feeling are retained.

The drugs, a combination of low-dose local anaesthetics and a further analgesic, can be administered in low doses, allowing the pregnant woman to walk around if she wants.

The first injection is administered by the anaesthetist; further treatment with analgesic medication is administered by the doctors in the gynaecological clinic.

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Academic teaching hospital of the RWTH technical university, Aachen

Clinic for Anaesthesia and Surgical Intensive Care

Dechant-Deckers-Str. 8
52249 Eschweiler

+49 2403 - 76-1891

St.-Antonius-Hospital gGmbH
Dechant-Deckers-Str. 8
52249 Eschweiler
tel.: 02403 76 - 0
fax: 02403 76 -1119

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