SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
FARINA, Z and ROUT, C. 'But it's just a spinal': Combating increasing rates of maternal death related to spinal anaesthesia. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2013, vol.103, n.2, pp. 80-80. ISSN 2078-5135.
The number of women dying as a result of spinal anaesthesia during caesarean section in South Africa is steadily increasing in the triennial reports of the National Committee on Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths (NCCEMD). This article postulates some of the reasons behind this phenomenon. The concern is raised that spinal anaesthesia is being undertaken inappropriately by poorly trained practitioners. A case is made for the rigorous application of known safety standards and for doctors to be appropriately trained in anaesthesia and to be solely responsible for the care of the mother during caesarean section. The need for doctors to be trained and prepared to administer general anaesthesia when required is noted.