[Anaesthetic-related complications of caesarean section].Zentralbl Gynakol. 2005 Apr; 127(2):91-5.ZG
In spite of an increase in the number of caesarean sections, the incidence of anaesthetic-related complications remains low. This is due primarily to the increasing use of regional anaesthesia (spinal and or epidural anaesthesia) as general anaesthesia is associated with a 17-fold increase in complications, in particular failed endotracheal intubation, aspiration of gastric contents and hypoxia. It is most important that all obstetric patients deemed at risk for general anaesthesia (e. g. morbidly obese, hypertension, placenta praevia) should be identified as such by the obstetricians and referred to the anaesthetic department at an early stage. Furthermore there should be common procedural guidelines to define the degree of urgency of caesarean section as most anaesthetic complications occur during "emergency" cases under general anaesthesia. Many of these so-called emergency cases are not real emergencies and could be equally well performed under regional anaesthesia. A continuing audit of maternal deaths in Germany should be established along similar lines to the Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in the United Kingdom. Most importantly, the increasing use of regional anaesthesia should be propagated as its use in Germany still lies well behind other countries such as Switzerland, the USA and the United Kingdom.