The Journal of Bucharest College of Physicians and the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences

Combined Spinal Epidural Anaesthesia Technique with Ketamine Infusion for Emergency Laparotomy of a Known COVID-19 Case at High Altitude of 12000 Feet Above Mean Sea Level


SARS-CoV-2 is a highly infectious virus known to cause severe acute respiratory syndrome in humans known as COVID-19. It is well established that the mode of transmission is through aerosol generation. Since the invasive procedures like endotracheal intubation place the anaesthesiologist and the operating room staff highly exposed to the risk of infection it is prudent to follow regional anaesthesia technique wherever possible. The present case is of a 34-year-old COVID 19 positive male patient who underwent emergency laparotomy in a service hospital of armed forces at 12000 feet above sea level under combined spinal and epidural anaesthesia supplemented with sedation using intravenous infusion of Ketamine. After the attachment of standard ASA monitor and taking in account of baseline readings patient was administered an 18-gauge epidural secured in the T12-L1 level with the catheter was fix at 12 cm on the skin. Sub arachnoid block was administered to the patient using 2.75 ml of 0.5 % Bupivacaine (heavy) and 25 mcg of Fentanyl in L2-L3 space using a 26-gauge spinal needle in sitting position. Once the height of the block was ascertained at T6 level by loss of temperature sensation the surgery commenced. Patient was administered with 3.0 mg of Morphine in epidural space for perioperative analgesia. For allaying intraoperative discomfort patient was sedation infusion of Ketamine of 0.6mg/kg/hr to keep the Ramsay sedation score between 3-4. The intraoperative period was uneventful, and the patient did not require any supplemental analgesia during the surgery. Post operatively the patient was pain free and comfortable with no features of hypopnea, post-operative nausea vomiting and shivering and was shifted to the post-operative care unit in the covid facility of the hospital.