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Anaesthesia. 2000 May;55(5):421-6.

Peripartum general anasthesia without tracheal intubation: incidence of aspiration pneumonia.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Kaplan Hospital, Rehovot, Israel. Israel.


This study estimated the incidence of pulmonary aspiration during general anasthesia for obstetric procedures performed in the peripartum period (Caesarean sections were not studied). The records of 1870 patients anasthetised without tracheal intubation were reviewed retrospectively. The diagnosis of aspiration was based on the anasthetist's written remarks and the postoperative course. Eighty per cent of patients received ketamine and a benzodiazepine, and the remaining 20% received methohexital or thiopental and fentanyl. No cricoid pressure or tracheal intubation was performed. A single case of mild aspiration was detected in a woman anasthetised with methohexital (an incidence of 0.053%). These results suggest that the risk of aspiration during general anasthesia without tracheal intubation, during and immediately after delivery, may not be higher in obstetric patients in the peripartum period, as has been reported previously.

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