American University of Beirut

Obstetrical Anesthesia Division

Sahar Siddik-Sayid.jpgThe Division of Obstetrical Anesthesia at the American University of Beirut, Medical Center provides 24-hour coverage. Our Labor & Delivery Unit is a busy unit with about 1000 deliveries per year. We care for a diverse mix of healthy and high risk patients, including patients with preeclampsia, placenta abnormalities as well as cardiac, pulmonary, and neurologic disease. More than 70 percent of patients receive anesthetic care.

The Division of Obstetric Anesthesia supports any decisions made by a patient regarding pain relief during labor and provides the information needed to answer any questions. The goal is to make the labor and delivery experience a safe and pleasant experience.

Lumbar epidural is the most effective analgesia technique available. It is widely promoted and recommended and is widely accepted by women. Properly conducted, it is very safe in current practice. This can be achieved by the administration of local anesthetics at low concentration with the addition of narcotics using patient-controlled epidural anesthesia. In addition, neuraxial blockade techniques such as the combined spinal-epidural, continuous spinal anesthetic techniques, or patient-controlled intravenous analgesia for labor are available.

Spinal anesthesia is the most commonly used anesthetic technique for cesarean section. It may be used in planned or emergency cesarean section. It allows the mother to remain awake and experience the birth of the baby. Also, it permits earlier feeding and contact with the baby. Options for post-cesarean analgesia include neuraxial opioids or catheters, patient-controlled intravenous analgesia, and transversus abdominal plain blockade. We also coordinate and provide anesthesia services for those patients undergoing non-obstetric surgery while pregnant.

Anesthesia medical doctors are immediately and exclusively available on Labor & Delivery Unit at all times. Anesthesiologists are also available for outpatient consultations earlier in pregnancy on an as-needed basis.

The Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine at AUBMC is a leader in anesthesia research. Many of our faculty members have authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and regularly participate in academic conferences throughout the world.

AUBMC is home to one of the top anesthesia training programs in the Region. We are proud to be a leader in preparing the next generation of anesthesia physicians. Our attending physicians closely supervise our trainees in order to prioritize both education and patient safety. We also regularly participate in medical simulation scenarios and practice drills to optimize our most critical crisis skills.

Sahar Siddik-Sayyid​, MD
Obstetrical Anesthesia Division Director​

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