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How safe is general anesthtic on a 7 month pregnant women?

How safe is general anesthtic on a 7 month pregnant women? Just have a finger sewn and nerve mended on my left ring finger and wondering if going under is the only option as suggested by my consultant.

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The answer

Many thanks for your question to the Ask the Expert Team.

Regarding anaesthetic use in pregnancy where possible this is ideally avoided in order to reduce risks to both yourself and the baby however precautions if general anaesthesia (GA) is needed will be instigated.

At this stage of pregnancy it is highly unlikely that your baby will be harmed physically as development of the baby is complete but there is the potential for premature labour and the baby to be of a lower birth weight.

Precautions taken in relation to GA use include ensuring that you are well and that there are no issues regarding your blood levels and that your baby is well pre, during and post operatively.

The type of anaesthesia used would be those which are known not to be harmful to the baby and the dose given would be closely monitored.

The other type of anaesthetic that may be appropriate is a nerve block which is where circulation to the arm is restricted and a local anaesthetic is applied to the lower arm and nerves. This would also be done with sedation in place.

We would suggest that both your Obstetrician and Anaesthetist should be involved in any decision making and explaining your options to you.

We hope this helps.

Wishing you all the best,

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses