Why is GA necessary for an unplanned cs if you don't have an epidural? DS was not in distress for mine. I had been in labor 34 hours & wasn't progressing at all.
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You state that you had an emergency cs, but that your baby was not in distress. Why then was it an emergency cs? Or was it an urgent cs (done within 30 minutes of decision time)? For a true emergency and/or crash cs, yes, GA is generally used if there is no epidural because they do not want to delay getting the baby out. But if there is no fetal distress, a spinal would usually be placed.
Where I work as a L&D RN, an emergency cs reflects a medical emergency (for either mom or baby) and is performed ASAP (may or may not have time to place a spinal).
An urgent section is done within 30 minutes of decision time (such as for worsening tracing that is not yet emergent, breech in active labor)
A non-urgent/unscheduled section is done in cases of non-progressing labor/descent, repeat cs (if mom that was planning on a repeat cs comes in with SROM or in laobr), or breech (not in active labor).
I had also been in labor for 34 hours when we decided on a c/s. In our case it was a non-emergency c/s because my baby was stuck but not in distress. They gave me a "spinal anesthesia" which is different than an epidural: it doesn't require a catheter and its effects come quicker but last for a shorter span of time. They would've given me the general if the spinal hadn't worked. I bet those stories you read were referring to spinals right before surgery, not epidurals (in the strict definition).