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Epidural labour analgesia: Mode of delivery and parturientsâ?? acceptance

Epidural analgesia, being superior to other modalities, has been considered as the gold standard technique when it comes to pain relief during labour. With a rapid onset of action, minimal side effects and being devoid of motor blockade as well as an ease in delivering anaesthesia for caesarean if required; epidural labour analgesia should have been a widely accepted approach. But, the reality says otherwise, more so in developing countries like India where parturients, more often than the general population, are still engrossed in various myths. Epidurals received during labour have been accused to prolong labour, increase oxytocin requirements thereby causing the rate of instrumental and operative deliveries to rise.

A prospective interventional type study was conducted at the labour room of Sri Guru Ramdas Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Amritsar.  All the parturients attending the labour room for normal vaginal deliveries from June 2019 to May 2020 were scrutinized according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Those fitting the inclusion criteria were asked to consent for epidural labour analgesia. The ones consenting, received 0.1% levobupivacaine or 0.1% ropivacaine or 0.1% bupivacaine alongwith 2 mcg/ml fentanyl  epidurally. The ones who didnot consent were asked for the reason to refuse. The rate of caesareans with and without epidural labour analgesia was calculated.

Author(s): Jaskaranjeet Kaur

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