J Med Assoc Thai 2021; 104 (4):663-71

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Cardiac Arrest and Complications after Spinal Anesthesia: The Perioperative and Anesthetic Adverse Event in Thailand (PAAd Thai) Incident Report Study
Sriramatr D , Chongarunngamsang W , Plansangkate P , Laosuwan P Mail, Charuluxananan S , Nimmaanrat S , Pravitharangul T , Angkasuvan W

Background: Spinal anesthesia is one of most common anesthetic techniques in Thailand. The Perioperative and Anesthetic Adverse Events in Thailand (PAAd Thai) Study was a multicentered project among 22 hospitals across the country to investigate the incidence of anesthesia related complications.

Objective: To study the incidences of cardiac arrest and complication after spinal anesthesia including the contributing factors and suggested corrective strategies.

Materials and Methods: This prospective descriptive study of the incident reports that occurred regarding spinal anesthesia collected from 22 participating hospital in the data collection between January and December of 2015 was completed. Three senior anesthesiologists reviewed the data and descriptive statistics were used.

Results: Among 62,120 spinal anesthesia, there were 127 incidents (5.8%) among 2,206 incident reports related to anesthesia. There were seven cases of intraoperative cardiac arrest with an incidence of 1.13:10,000 spinal anesthesia (95% CI 0.55 to 2.33). Other complications were bradycardia with less than 40 beats per minute (50.4%), anaphylaxis or anaphylactoid reaction or drug allergy (14.2%), drug error (8.4%), coma or CVA or convulsion (3.9%), and suspected pulmonary embolism (3.9%). Adverse events occurred frequently with specialties or surgeries of orthopedics (44.1%), cesarean delivery (17.3%), urosurgery (17.3%), general surgery (14.2%), and gynecological surgery (4.7%), respectively.

Conclusion: Contributing factors were inexperience, inappropriate decision making, haste, and inappropriate pre-anesthetic evaluation or preparation while factors minimizing incidents were vigilance, having experience, and experienced assistants. Suggested corrective strategies were quality assurance activity, guidelines especially monitoring, improvement of supervision, and additional training.

Keywords: Spinal anesthesia, Adverse events, Incidents, Complications, Neuraxial anesthesia, Cardiac arrest

DOI: doi.org/10.35755/jmedassocthai.2021.04.12401

Received 23 December 2020 | Revised 26 January 2021 | Accepted 26 January 2021


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