Epidural Analgesia in Labour
Introduction: Epidural analgesia has emerged as a special entity for alleviation of labour pains in modern obstetrics.
Objectives: To study the effect of epidural analgesia on mother and fetus and on progress and outcome of labour.
Study Design: Prospective interventional study.
Setting: Study was carried out in the labour ward of Jinnah Hospital, Lahore.
Duration of Study: The study was completed in six months from 1-07-2008 to 31-12-2008.
Subjects and Methods: Labouring women were divi-ded into two groups. Group – I comprised of 35 partu-rients who were provided with epidural analgesia. Group – II consisted of another 35 women who had labours without the block. On reporting to labour room in active labour, whether spontaneous or induced the female was provided with the epidural analgesia by the anaesthetist. Top ups were given by the obstetrician.
Results: Maternal and fetal outcome was good in the two groups. Epidural analgesia did not significantly prolong the duration first stage of labour and increased rate of instrumental deliveries in the study group. Fetal outcome almost same in terms of apgar score. There were few minor anaesthetic complications which were managed easily.
Conclusions: Epidural analgesia is a safe, effective although costly and invasive method of pain relief during labour and delivery. It did not adversely effect the progress and outcome of labour. It prolonged the second stage of labour significantly and increased the oxytocin requirement and rate of instrumental delive-ries. Neonates were born in a satisfactory condition. Postpartum period was uneventful for majority of women.
Keywords: Epidural analgesia, epidural space, labour induction.
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