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Continuous Spinal Anesthesia Case Review and Discussion
  1. David O. Peterson, MD,
  2. Jerrell L. Borup, MD and
  3. Julian S. Chestnut, DO
  1. From the Department of Anesthesiology and the Clinical Investigation Department, Naval Hospital, San Diego, California


A retrospective study of the safety and efficacy of continuous spinal anesthesia was performed using the records of 52 consecutive patients over a one-year period, who received this anesthetic for surgical procedures on the lower extremities or lower abdomen. Their mean age was 70 years. Anesthesia was induced and maintained via subarachnoid catheter for a mean duration of 181 minutes using lidocaine, procaine, or tetracaine. Hypotension, defined as greater than a 25% drop in systolic blood pressure, was seen in 21% of patients and was treated readily. Only one case required general anesthetic supplementation. There were no complications. Several advantages recommend continuous spinal anesthesia over general or other regional techniques in selected patients: relative paucity of effects on other body systems, low total anesthetic doses, ease of obtaining and maintaining a precise anesthetic level for procedures of uncertain duration, safety of placing the patient in the operative position prior to induction, high success rate, and short postoperative recovery times.

  • Anesthetic techniques
  • spinal
  • continuous
  • Anesthesia
  • regional

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  • Presented in part at the 1983 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia at Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

    The opinions or assertions expressed herein are those of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as necessarily reflecting the view of the Department of the Navy or the naval service at large.

    Address reprint requests to LT Peterson, MD, USNR: Clinical Investigation Department, Naval Hospital, San Diego, CA 92134.