Epidural Anesthesia


Epidural anesthesia is a type of regional anesthesia commonly used during childbirth, involving injecting medications into the epidural space of the spine to numb the lower half of the body.

It provides pain relief during labor and delivery. 

The medications used typically include a local anesthetic such as bupivacaine or ropivacaine, along with a small dose of opioids like fentanyl.

Epidurals are generally considered safe and effective. 

Epidurals can reduce or eliminate pain during labor.

Epidurals also have potential risks and side effects: hypotension, difficulty pushing, and headaches.

Suppresses surgical stress, has a positive effect on postoperative nitrogen balance, provides a more stable cardiovascular hemodynamics, reduces blood loss, improves peripheral vascular circulation and provides improved postoperative pain control.

Thoracic epidural analgesia associated with a reduction in incidence of urinary retention, decrease incidence of hypotension, reduces myocardial oxygen consumption, pulmonary wedge pressure and pulmonary artery pressure, enhances coronary artery perfusion, improves postoperative pulmonary function and results in less inhibition of the gastrointestinal motility and therefore less ileus.

Arterial pressure decreases after institution of epidural block.

Epidural analgesia during labor and delivery is associated with a small increase in the risk of autism spectrum disorder in offspring, but residual confounding  matters may account for the results, and therefore do not support strong supporting evidence for this association.