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Int J Obstet Anesth. 2002 Oct;11(4):242-5.

A prospective observational study of the subjective experience of caesarean section under regional anaesthesia.

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Department of Anaesthesia, The Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK.


The aim of our study was to determine the subjective sensation of caesarean section under regional anaesthesia. We performed a prospective, observational study of 205 patients undergoing caesarean section under regional anaesthesia in a UK district general hospital. Patients were asked open and closed questions relating to their physical and emotional experience during the operation. Seventy-three percent of patients chose the phrase "pulling and pushing" to describe the physical sensation of the operation, 75% described the experience as pleasant, and only 4% described it as unpleasant, the rest saying it was neither pleasant nor unpleasant. Ninety-six percent said they would by choice have any future caesarean section under regional anaesthesia, 3% were undecided and 1% said they would prefer a general anaesthetic next time. This study provides important precise information that may be given to patients before caesarean section under regional anaesthesia. We believe it will help minimise preoperative fears and increase patients' ability to make informed decisions about their care.


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