How epidural anesthesia is applied in labor

How epidural anesthesia is applied in labor

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The application of Epidural anesthesia delivery usually takes a few minutes. It is a technique that in principle is not complicated, but it is somewhat delicate and must be administered by an anesthetist.

Epidural anesthesia has its advantages and disadvantages and its application it is a very personal decision of the pregnant woman. It is a very common technique today, although it has some risks that are also important to know. Knowing, in any case, how it is administered and what will happen, step by step, will help the pregnant woman to live this moment more calmly.

Before puncture:

- The nurse or midwife will take a peripheral line through which they will put at least 500 ml of physiological serum, to prevent hypotension.

- Blood pressure is taken.

- A vaginal examination is performed, to know at what moment of delivery we are.

During the puncture:

- The woman will be taught which posture she should have at all times (the most important thing is that the woman does not move at all); generally seated tailor-like, with her back arched as if she were an angry cat (or a shrimp, some say). The goal of the pose is to open the disc space. Some anesthetists prefer that the woman lie on her side, positioning her back in the same way as the one just explained.

- At all times the woman and the baby have controlled vital signs.

- Sterilization. The area on your back is cleaned using sterilizing solution.

- Applies Local anesthesia so it won't hurt when you get the epidural. The needle used in this step may cause a slight, fleeting sensation, like any other injection into your skin. Stinging is usually felt when local anesthesia is infiltrated.

- From this point it is very important to stay still, the most likely thing is that the anesthetist or the midwife who is with you will explain what is going to happen, so that nothing takes you by surprise.

- Puncture: the anesthetist put a thick needle into the epidural space, which is a layer of tissue, fluid, and fat within your spine, between the dura and the vertebra, that protects the spinal cord. Because the skin area is under the influence of local anesthesia, it doesn't really hurt when you get the epidural; you just feel the pressure of the doctor to insert the needle.

- Catheter placement: frequently a catheter is left in the area, to leave an infusion of anesthesia throughout labor.

- The midwife fixes it with tape to the skin. You can support your back, but try not to drag it when you turn, to prevent the tape from coming off and the catheter from moving out of place.

- The effect of epidural anesthesia begins to be felt 10 to 20 minutes after its application. Depending on the intensity and duration of your labor, you may require additional doses of the medication.

You can read more articles similar to How epidural anesthesia is applied in labor, in the category of Delivery on site.

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