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Side-effects and Complications of Regional Anesthesia

One can experience undesirable reactions to the anesthesia drug if it happens to be absorbed into the blood stream too rapidly. Such systemic reactions can cause dizziness, ringing in the ears, a "funny feeling", loss of consciousness, seizures, and cardiac arrest.

During major blocks (spinal, caudals and epidurals), the blood vessels may relax and cause hypotension (low blood pressure). This may diminish blood flow to the heart or brain. Infections at the site of injection can range from inconsequential to life-threatening (meningitis). Rarely is permanent nerve damage a result of these techniques.

Epidural, spinal and caudal anesthetics are associated with a small, but real risk of headaches. These may last several days after the procedure and require special treatment. One may also experience transient difficulty emptying the bladder. Your Anesthesia Care Team is specifically trained to recognize and treat such complications.

 

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