Two propofol infusion regimens and a standard general anaesthetic were compared in thirty Chinese women undergoing elective Caesarean section. After induction of anaesthesia with propofol 2 mg-1 kg-1, ten patients received propofol 6 mg-1 kg-1 hr-1 and nitrous oxide 50 per cent in oxygen while ten were given propofol 9 mg-1 kg-1 hr-1 with 100 per cent oxygen. The other ten patients received thiopentone 4 mg-1 kg-1 and nitrous oxide 50 per cent in oxygen with enflurane one per cent. Maternal recovery times and psychomotor performance were recorded. Neonates were assessed by Apgar scores, neurologic and adaptive capacity scores (NACS) and umbilical cord blood gas analysis. Haemodynamic changes were similar immediately following induction but the low propofol infusion group had the best haemodynamic stability subsequently. Recovery times were fastest in the low-infusion group but there were no differences in later postbox testing. Neonatal Apgar scores and umbilical blood gas analysis were similar but NACS at two hours were poorer in the high infusion group. A propofol infusion coupled with nitrous oxide appears to be a satisfactory technique for Caesarean section.
- obstetrical anaesthesia,
- neonatal assessment,
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