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Determination of the Relationship Between Patient Height Versus Vertebral Column Length and the Level of Subarachnoid Sensory Blockade Produced Using 0.75% Hyperbaric Bupivacaine

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Rept. for Sep 1995-Aug 1996

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The purpose of this study was to determine the strength of the relationship between patient height versus vertebral column length and the level of subarachniod sensory blockade following administration of 15 mg of 0.75 hyperbaric bupivacaine. Patient height has traditionally been used to determine the dose of local anesthetic for patients undergoing spinal anesthesia. It has been proposed that a patients vertebal column length may be more reliable than patient height when estimating local anesthetic dosages. This study offers sound methodology, an adequate sample size, and the data to support the continued use of patient height to safety estimate the dose of local anesthetic for subarachniod blockade. This study was conducted at Darnall Army Community Hospital, Fort Hood, Texas. A nonprobability, convenience sample was selected from patients presenting for elective surgical procedures in which subarachniod blockade was appropriate. The researchers measured the patients height and vertebral column length to the nearest centimeter. Interrater reliability was established among the researchers. Twenty minutes after the anesthetic was administered, the level of sensory blockade was assessed by a blinded observer using the pinprick method and recorded on the data collection tool. Interrater reliability was established among the four blinded observers. There was a weak, but statistically significant correlation between patient height and the level of sensory blockade. There was no correlation between vertebral column length and the level of sensory blockade. Study findings demonstrated that ASS I and II male subjects achieved an average level of sensory blockade of T6. The generalizability of this finding offers the anesthetist a quick and reliable anesthesia plan. Having a reliable anesthetic plan benefits both the patient and organization by limiting the complications associated with an inadequate or excessively high spinal blockade.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Stress Physiology

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