Severe bradycardia and hypotension after connecting negative pressure to the subgaleal drain during craniotomy closure

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Negative pressure drainage systems are often used after craniotomy for evacuation of potential bleeding. There are several reports of haemodynamic disturbances with epidural negative pressure drainage, but such reports are very few for subgaleal drains placed over the bone flap. We report a case in which a patient developed severe cardiovascular disturbances after the vacuum drainage was connected to a subgaleal drain after craniotomy for aneurysm clipping. The patient had no significant cardiac history, had an uneventful intra-operative course and yet developed bradycardia and hypotension, which were reproducible and severe enough to require atropine administration. Anaesthetists must be aware of these effects, so that they can anticipate and treat such complications.

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