How often do patients panic on the c-section table? How do you calm them down if they are panicking prior to surgery?
I haven't had many actually panic. They get anxious, and a lot of them cry. I usually hold their hand and explain everything we are doing. I reassure them that we will make sure they are completely numb so they won't feel any cutting, but warn them about the pulling and pressure. I introduce them to the NICU staff and baby nurse and tell them their baby will be in good hands. Sometimes anesthesia will give them a little something in their IV to calm them down.
I freaked out during my last C-section, over 26 years ago. They had given me the spinal and when they tilted the head of the table down, the anesthesia went up to my shoulders and I couldn't feel myself breathing. The OR nurses kept telling me it was OK, I was breathing properly and my Sa02 was 99%, but I was panicking and even felt like I couldn't talk. It was horrible. I think the anesthesiologist finally gave me something to mellow me out because I did calm down somewhat, and then of course the baby was born and that was exciting, plus by that time some of the anesthesia had worn off and I could feel my chest rising and falling again. But if I ever have to have another abdominal procedure again, I'm going to ask for a general because that experience was so frightening. Either that, or they're going to have to pump me full of Versed!
During my last C section, I began feeling like an elephant was sitting on my
chest because the anesthesia guy was giving me too much. He slowed it down
a bit and I felt better. After that I felt NOTHING. I didn't even feel the pressure
With my first, I definitely felt all of the pressure, the doctor digging and
tugging. It was considered an emergency C section.
During my second (of three) c-section right after my spinal I got the worst headache of my life. My head literally felt like it was going to explode. I looked at my doctor and calmly said "something is wrong, help me." I will never forget the look she had. One of "holy crap". She grabbed one arm and the anesthesiologist grabbed the other and they were checking for a pulse. I said "I can tell you what it is because I can see it in my eyeballs!" It was then that I began screaming because my head hurt sooo so bad. My husband was in there with me but my mother was still outside the OR. I remember hearing my doctor telling the OR staff that she was scrubbing in and to call the other doctor who was assisting and tell her to hurry up. She ended up getting baby out before the other doctor arrived.
It wasn't until after I found out that my blood pressure was 220/120 and my heart rate was 20. Worst experience of my life.
My first section was scary, simply because it was my first and the "pulling and pressure" was a hell of a lot more than that.
My last section was amazing. No vomiting (I vomited throughout both previous c-sections), very little pressure or pulling felt.
So I would say panicking happens. But I would also say that every c-section is different. One person might have felt no pulling or pressure and the next person might feel like their insides are being ripped apart.
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