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Obstetric Anesthesia

The division of Obstetrical Anesthesia participates in the majority of deliveries performed at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center by providing consultation, labor analgesia and surgical anesthesia. As a tertiary care referral center, many of our obstetrical patients are considered high risk; requiring a multidisciplinary approach to maximize maternal and fetal outcomes. We are committed to offering the highest levels of care and patient satisfaction while affording a quality experience for our residents.

Patient Care

Labor analgesia is provided on demand with a goal to deliver prompt, effective and safe pain relief for parturients. Practices vary by provider and clinical situation, but typically involve the use of spinal, epidural or combined-spinal epidural techniques. The OB service participates in elective and non-elective operative deliveries in one of two dedicated operating rooms located on the Birthing Pavilion.

In an effort to better inform our patients and deliver the best possible care, the Department of Anesthesiology offers several opportunities for parturients to meet with an anesthesiologist during their pregnancy. Patients with comorbidities that may affect their obstetric or anesthesia care are seen in the preadmission testing clinic. In addition, parturients with general questions or concerns can be seen during a variety of offered prenatal classes.


Anesthesia residents begin rotating through obstetrics during their CA-1 year, all residents experience at least two months of obstetrics during their training and most residents choose an elective third month. Residents participate in daily multidisciplinary rounds, consult on all high risk obstetrical patients and provide labor analgesia and surgical anesthesia as needed. A monthly presentation on relevant anesthesia topics by our residents is well received by our obstetric colleagues.