Spinal Versus Epidural Anesthesia for Cesarean Section: A Comparison of Time Efficiency, Costs, Charges, and Complications


    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Spinal anesthesia recently has gained popularity for elective cesarean section.Our anesthesia service changed from epidural to spinal anesthesia for elective cesarean section in 1991. To evaluate the significance of this change in terms of time management, costs, charges, and complication rates, we retrospectively reviewed the charts of patients who had received epidural (n = 47) or spinal (n = 47) anesthesia for nonemergent cesarean section. Patients who received epidural anesthesia had significantly longer total operating room (OR) times than those who received spinal anesthesia (101 +/- 20 vs 83 +/- 16 min, [mean +/- SD] P < 0.001); this was caused by longer times spent in the OR until surgical incision (46 +/- 11 vs 29 +/- 6 min, P < 0.001). Length of time spent in the postanesthesia recovery unit was similar in both groups. Supplemental intraoperative intravenous (IV) analgesics and anxiolytics were required more often in the epidural group (38%) than in the spinal group (17%) (P < 0.05). Complications were noted in six patients with epidural anesthesia and none with spinal anesthesia (P < 0.05). Average per-patient charges were more for the epidural group than for the spinal group. Although direct cost differences between the groups were negligible, there were more substantial indirect costs differences. We conclude that spinal block may provide better and more cost effective anesthesia for uncomplicated, elective cesarean sections.(Anesth Analg 1995;80:709-12)

    loading  Loading Related Articles