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Can J Anaesth. 1993 Apr;40(4):340-5.

Spinal subdural haematoma in a parturient after attempted epidural anaesthesia.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Women's College Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario.


We report a case of spinal subdural haematoma with neurological deficit in a 36-yr-old woman following Caesarean section for severe preeclampsia and placental abruption. She had been taking chronic trifluoperazine treatment for depression. Her activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) was 49 sec (normal = 26-36) but all other tests of coagulation were normal. Epidural anaesthesia was attempted but, despite a negative test dose, injection of local anaesthetic resulted in a generalized seizure and general anaesthesia was induced. Seventy-two hours after delivery, she was found to have bilateral leg weakness, urinary incontinence, absent rectal sphincter tone and asymmetrical leg reflexes. The diagnosis of spinal haematoma was confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging. She underwent emergency laminectomy and made a full neurological recovery.

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