A study on the ease of placement of spinal needle in relation to height, weight and BMI in a geriatric population of Eastern India

Anirban Sadhu, Santanu Kumar Khanra, Hironmoy Mondal, Rudradev Meyur


Background: Spinal anaesthesia is the procedure of choice for infraumbilical surgery worldwide. This is usually very easy in young patients but fraught with difficulties in the elderly. Such difficulties may lead to pain, haematoma and infection, all of which pose a significant risk in the elderly. Hence it is imperative to study the common causes of such problems faced during introduction of the spinal needle for the same This will ensure a better management of the problem. The study was done to assess the impact of height, weight and BMI on the ease of introduction of spinal needle for anaesthesia in patients above 65 years of age.

Methods: A 500 patients above 65 years of age were selected for the study based on some well-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. The time period for the study was 1 year. Their height, weight and BMI were then recorded. Then the number of redirections and level (s) required for successful placement of spinal needle were noted for each patient. ≤3 redirections and <1 levels were considered as easy placement of spinal needle. The latter were tabulated separately against the height, weight and BMI of each patient. Relevant statistical tests were also done to ascertain the significance of the findings.

Results: Patients with lesser height, weight and BMI took <3 redirections and <1 level for placement of spinal needle and these were statistically significant.

Conclusions: Spinal anaesthesia is relatively easy in elderly patients with lesser height, weight and BMI.


BMI, Height, Spinal anaesthesia, Weight

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