With further research, the magnet technique may provide a secondmeans — in addition to gravity — of preventing “high spinalblock,” which occurs when spinal anesthetics spread to theupper portions of the spinal cord. The preliminary studies wereperformed by Dr Robert H. Thiele of University of Virginia HealthSciences Center, Charlottesville. Magnetic Technique May Permit Gravity-Defying Anesthesia Although very rare — occurring at a rate of about 0.6 per 1,000cases — high spinal block is a serious complication of spinalanesthesia. Perkins EST
It occurs when injected anesthetics travel too high inthe spinal cord, interfering with the spinal cord fibers governingheart function. This can result in sharp drops in heart rate andblood pressure, with a risk of cardiac arrest and death. Anesthesiologists currently prevent high spinal block by modifyingthe anesthetic dose and by positioning the patient so that gravitydistributes the anesthetic to the lower portions of the spinalcord. “However, in certain instances, gravitational forcesalone may not be sufficient to control block height,” theresearchers write. They evaluated a different approach: usingmagnetized anesthetic fluid and a weak magnetic field to controlthe spread of fluids. China Car Key Cutting Machines
Dr. Thiele and colleagues created a simple model of the spine usingfluid-filled plastic tubing. They then prepared a local anestheticsolution with or without the addition of a water-based ferrofluidto magnetize the fluid. In this model, both fluids ran downward bygravity. China Car Electronics Products
However, when a magnet placed outside the tubing, below the levelof the needle, it halted the downward flow of magnetized fluid. Infact, when the magnet was moved, the fluid moved”uphill,” against gravity. (A video demonstration can beviewed online at ( links.lww.com/AA/A377 .) Dr Thiele and coauthors believe that a similar technique usingmagnetized local anesthetic solution and exterior magnets couldhelp to control the spread of spinal anesthesia during surgicalprocedures, thus providing a simple but effective additionalsafeguard against high spinal block. It might also be useful incontrolling the spread of anesthetics in other situations — forexample, spinal anesthesia on one side of the body.
Of course, much more research is needed before a conceptdemonstrated in plastic tubing can be applied in patients. Amongthe questions to be answered is the safety of the magnetic fluid –the ferrofluid used in the experiments is not approved for use inhumans, although magnetic particles are used in other medicaltreatments. Other issues include the quality of anesthesia and practicalmatters related to applying a magnetic field in the operating room.Pending further study, the new magnetic technique “may allowanesthesia providers a second means of controlling blockspread,” the researchers write.