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A 37-year-old female asked:

can a spinal cause a sudden drop on blood pressure during csection

5 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Diana Metzger
Cardiology 30 years experience
Yes: Spinal anesthesia not only numbs pain nerves, but also block some of the autonomic (sympathetic and parasympathetic) nerve pathways, too. This can cause drop in blood pressure.
Dr. Rita Agarwal
Anesthesiology 35 years experience
Yes: It is a fairly common side effect of spinal anesthesia. It is treated with medications and fluids.
Dr. Orrin Ailloni-Charas
Anesthesiology 29 years experience
Yes: Vasodilation can result in hypotension. During c section, it is treated with vasopressors, fluids, and adequate uterine displacement. You will be monitored throughout your csection and your anesthesiologist will be able to keep you safe.
Dr. David Rosenfeld
Pain Management 27 years experience
Often it does: Yes a spinal block will often cause a drop in bp. That is the reason we "pre-hydrate" the patient with 1-2 liters of IV fluid.
Dr. Kevin McElroy
Anesthesiology 11 years experience
In fact, it is an expected effect and actually indicates that the spinal anesthetic is working properly. Usually, the anesthesiologist will administer phenylephrine and/or ephedrine to raise the blood pressure to (near) normal levels
Apr 16, 2013
Dr. Steven Dunn
Anesthesiology 38 years experience
Low pressure common: A drop in blood pressure is common after a spinal anesthesia. In fact, studies have shown that up to 60% of patients will drop their blood pressure after the spinal injection. The literature also clearly shows that the blood pressure drop, if treated appropriately, is not a problem for mother or baby.

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Last updated Sep 29, 2016

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