Clinical case report: respiratory depression following intrathecal opioid administration

  • Adriana Paola Barriga Second-year anesthesia student. Bogotá, Colombia
  • José Ricardo Navarro Vargas Professor of Anesthesiology, National University of Colombia. Bogotá, Colombia Service Review - Anesthesia Unit - National University, Bogotá, Colombia
Keywords: Respiratory Insufficiency, Morphine, Postoperative Period, Anesthesia, Conduction


Objective: Description of a case of respiratory depression during the late post-operative period in an obstetrics patient who received regional subarachnoidal anesthesia using a local anesthetic and intrathecal morphine.

Methods: The clinical case review, during the monthly review meeting at the Anesthesiology Unit of the National University of Colombia, discusses a clinical case of interest, in accordance with a sequence of topics, e.g.: third delay, when the patient is admitted and the clinical history is taken; fourth delay, when the patient is scheduled for surgery and the anesthesiologist performs the pre-anesthesia assessment, including the anesthetic evaluation and management, monitoring analysis, potential complications and their management, etc.

Result: Each case must generate a clinical discussion based on evidence in the literature and must be part of a competencies approach, including knowledge, know-how and communication skills. This particular case illustrates a sequence of errors that resulted in incidents and even adverse events. The physical evaluation and the considerations pertaining to the anesthetic and surgical procedures must be carefully recorded in the anesthesia record. Likewise, it is important to foresee conditions such as respiratory depression, which is one of the side effects of opioid administration and requires close monitoring and appropriate management.


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How to Cite
Barriga AP, Navarro Vargas JR. Clinical case report: respiratory depression following intrathecal opioid administration. Colomb. J. Anesthesiol. [Internet]. 2012 Jan. 1 [cited 2024 Jun. 17];40(1):82-7. Available from:


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How to Cite
Barriga AP, Navarro Vargas JR. Clinical case report: respiratory depression following intrathecal opioid administration. Colomb. J. Anesthesiol. [Internet]. 2012 Jan. 1 [cited 2024 Jun. 17];40(1):82-7. Available from:
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