Author(s): Stamer UM, Stuber F, Wiese R, Wulf H, Meuser T
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Abstract BACKGROUND: We assessed current practice regarding indications and contraindications to regional analgesia and anaesthesia for labour and delivery in Germany. METHODS: Questionnaires were mailed to the directors of 918 German departments of anaesthesiology. RESULTS: A total of 397 completed replies were received representing 41.3\% of all deliveries in Germany. More than half of the respondents never perform spinal or epidural anaesthesia when the platelet count falls below 65x10(9)/L. Preeclampsia, which was not graded for severity, was considered an absolute contraindication to regional block by 15\% and placenta praevia by 30\% of respondents. If a woman had taken aspirin three days before, the numbers of respondents considering epidural anaesthesia contraindicated (40.2\%) were nearly double those considering spinal anaesthesia contraindicated (21.7\%) (P<0.001). For a platelet count of 79x10(9)/L, epidural anaesthesia was thought to be contraindicated by 37\% and spinal anaesthesia by 22.2\% (P=0.001). In departments with <500 deliveries/year, reluctance to use regional blockade was more pronounced than in departments with >1000 deliveries/year. CONCLUSION: Clinical practice varies considerably in Germany. Concerns regarding the use of regional blockade were more prevalent in hospitals with small delivery units. Indications and contraindications are not consistent in Germany and some recommendations or guidelines are needed.
This article was published in Int J Obstet Anesth
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research