Background and objective: The aim of the study was to report our experience concerning the effectiveness, complications and safety of spinal anaesthesia, and to determine whether spinal anaesthesia was effective in full-term infants undergoing elective inguinal hernia repair.
Methods: Sixty-eight full-term infants aged <6 months were included in the study. Infants were divided into three groups; Group I (<1 month, n = 20), Group II (>1 and <3 months, n = 26), and Group III (3–6 months, n = 22). All spinal blocks were performed under mask inhalation anaesthesia. A dose of bupivacaine 0.5% 0.5 mg kg−1 was used for infants under 5 kg and 0.4 mg kg−1 for those over 5 kg. Heart rate, mean arterial pressure, respiratory rate and SPO2 were recorded before and after spinal anaesthesia at 5 min intervals. Time to onset of analgesia, time to start of operation, duration of operation, anaesthesia and hospitalization, postoperative analgesic requirement and complications were recorded.
Results: Adequate spinal anaesthesia without sedation was better, time to obtain maximum cutaneous analgesia was shorter and need for sedation and postoperative analgesic requirement were significantly lower in Group I. Although heart rate, mean arterial pressure and respiratory rate decreased <20% in all groups following spinal analgesia, the decrease in Group I was lower than the others.
Conclusions: Spinal anaesthesia is an effective choice in inguinal hernia repair for full-term infants aged <1 month, providing excellent and reliable surgical conditions. However, this technique is not as useful for infants aged between 1 and 6 months.