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The role of anaesthesiologist in the care of the parturient has expanded, with regular involvement in the labor rooms, the obstetric theatre and in the high dependency and intensive care units that care for the critically ill partu rients. The shortage of anaesthetists has been identified as one of the major causes of high MMR in India (407/100,000 deliveries) and is a cause for grave con cern, with anaesthetic accidents (4.8%) being considered an important preventable cause of maternal deaths, according to the Safe motherhood WHO training manuals.