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Epidural during childbirth

Epidural during childbirth: operation
Epidural anesthesia is a regional anesthesia technique for the desensitization of a transitional area of ​​the body: in the context of obstetric pelvis.

It is the sleep of the nerves carrying pain in this region. We use the epidural including childbirth, to avoid the pain of contractions and expulsion of the baby. The name "epidural" comes from "peri" (around) and "dura" (dura covering the spinal cord).

The figures of the epidural
The epidural was developed in 1901. It has been practiced for more than 25 years in obstetrics. The effects of epidural are felt after 10-15 minutes. Over 60% of women use birth. His success rate is 95%.

What does the anesthetist during the epidural?
A few weeks before childbirth, a medical consultation with the preanesthetic anesthetist can inform the pregnant woman and check that it does not cons-indications to epidural.

The day of birth, when contractions become painful and the progress of the work permits, or when triggered or medical indication (breech presentation, twin pregnancy ...), the anesthetist performs epidural anesthesia.

It sterilizes and numbs the lower back and then, using a needle up between the third and fourth or between the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebra a small flexible tube (or catheter) which remains in place throughout the duration of vaginal delivery.
This catheter allows the diffusion of local anesthetic (with or without an opioid) in the epidural space where the nerve roots pass. The catheter is installed once, but the anesthetic can be injected repeatedly or continuously. If the delivery requires a cesarean section or other intervention, the presence of the catheter already installed is to be performed under epidural anesthesia, avoiding general anesthesia more risky in this context.

What are the risks and dangers of an epidural?
Of all the methods of obstetrical anesthesia, epidural is the one with the least risk for the mother as for the baby.

But there are cons-indications: fever, disorders of blood clotting, infection of the skin at the back ...

If these cons-indications are taken into account, accidents (cardiac arrest, convulsions, paralysis ...) are exceptional and complications (usually transient) occur relatively infrequently: headache, tingling, numbness ...

Not to be confused with anything?
Spinal anesthesia.

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