Spinal and general anaesthesia for emergency caesarean section: effects on neonatal Apgar score and maternal haematocrit

Niger Postgrad Med J. 2003 Mar;10(1):51-5.


This is a prospective comparative study to determine the effect of the type of anaesthesia used for emergency Caesarean section on neonatal and maternal outcome. The patients were recruited into the study after being given either general or spinal anaesthesia. Neonatal outcome was assessed using Apgar scores and need for respiratory assistance at birth. Maternal outcome was assessed using the difference between pre- and post-operative packed cell volumes (PCV), need for blood transfusion and estimated blood loss. The groups were matched for pre-existing risk factors. Apgar scores at 1 and 5 minutes were found to be significantly lower for the general anaesthesia group (GA) than the spinal anaesthesia group (SA) and need for respiratory assistance was greater for the GA group. Difference between pre- and post-operative PCV and need for blood transfusion were also significantly greater in the GA group. This study confirms that the current practice of spinal anaesthesia for Caesarean section in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital is a good one, but further studies need to be done to assess other outcome variables.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anesthesia, General
  • Anesthesia, Obstetrical*
  • Anesthesia, Spinal
  • Apgar Score*
  • Cesarean Section*
  • Female
  • Hematocrit
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies