Acute profound hyperventilation occurred in a 44-year-old woman during abdominal hysterectomy under spinal anesthesia (sensory level of T-6). In this patient, sudden traction on the uterus triggered the hyperventilation, which persisted for about 30 minutes and produced profound hypocapnia (PaCO2, 13 torr) and carpal spasms. Some of the mechanisms involved are discussed.
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