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Sudhir Immani

and John Loughrey

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date: 03 December 2020

The use of ultrasound in obstetric anaesthesia practice has accelerated in the past decade, following a typical pattern of a small number of enthusiastic early adopters, to a current phase of more widespread use. The use of ultrasound in everyday practice has yet to include the majority of practitioners. However, more widespread availability of equipment and also training opportunities will ensure that it may be a future standard in obstetric units. The most obvious and current application for ultrasound for obstetric anaesthetists is in the improvement of the safety, quality, and success of neuraxial anaesthesia. This chapter sets out a description of current technique and knowledge of this application of ultrasound by obstetric anaesthetists and will give the reader a good overview of this topic. There are other applications of ultrasound in obstetric anaesthesia practice including vascular access, cardiac assessment in patients with cardiovascular collapse, and possibly even gastric volume assessment. Future equipment modifications may enhance the technique with smaller ultrasound probes for more accurate skin marking and also with enhanced image quality.

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