Key points

• Obstetric anaesthesia is high-risk anaesthesia.

• The severity of coexisting medical disease is easily underestimated.

• Adequate monitoring equipment and trained anaesthetic assistance are required for obstetric anaesthesia.

• Intensive care facilities may be required.

• The anaesthetic record is a legal document and is essential for adequate evaluation of morbidity and mortality.


Clyburn PA. Early thoughts on 'Why Mothers Die 2000-2002'. Anaesthesia 2004; 59: 1157-9.

Cooper GM, McClure JH. Maternal deaths from anaesthesia. An extract from Why Mothers Die 2000-2002, the Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in the United Kingdom: Chapter 9: Anaesthesia. Br J Anaesth 2005; 94: 417-23. McClure J, Cooper G. Fifty years of confidential enquiries into maternal deaths in the

United Kingdom: should anaesthesia celebrate or not? Int J Obstet Anesth 2005; 14: 87-9. Report on Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in the United Kingdom 2000-02. London: The Stationery Office, 2004.

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