Epidural anesthesia is a mode of anesthesia that numbs the body below the level of the umbilicus. The primary goals of epidurals are to eliminate pain and sensation to the areas in question.Local anesthetics are injected into the epidural space, which is found with the help of bony landmarks on the lower back. These agents block impulses that are transmitted by the nerves before they reach the brain where they are usually processed. The onset of anesthesia is typically within a few minutes and the effect lasts for an hour or two if not maintained with further doses.

Epidural anesthesia is the most popular method of pain relief during labor. Women request an epidural by name more than any other method of pain relief. More than 50% of women giving birth at hospitals use epidural anesthesia.



It is a relatively easy procedure to perform and its effect is, in most cases, highly reliable. It may be administered via a single injector or a catheter, which would allow for continuous infusion as necessary throughout a surgical procedure. There are several surgical procedures in which epidural anesthesia may be indicated.These include, but are not limited to, Cesarean section, orthopedic operations of the lower extremities, repair of various hernias.

EPIDURAL ANALGESIA is a safe and effective way to manage pain in many kinds of patients. The care and management of patients receiving epidural analgesia requires a team approach that includes anesthesiologists, healthcare providers, pharmacists, physiotherapists, and nurses. As the healthcare professionals who spend the most time with patients, nurses must be prepared to identify problems in a patient’s pain management plan.


Epidural anesthesia is a fairly safe mode of administering anesthesia. However, there are some risks involved.
For instance, some patients may experience a drop in blood pressure. Therefore, this parameter must be meticulously checked throughout the procedure. Other patients may complain of chronic backache, sometimes up to several months after undergoing an epidural. Backache may be associated with the relaxation of the muscles that occurs after the epidural or it may be due to the birthing process. Evidence for the latter seems to be derived in women who gave birth without receiving epidural anesthesia.

There is a risk that a patient may experience itching due to allergy to any of the components of the epidural anesthetic used. If this itching is intractable, alternative anesthetic agents or modes of anesthesia may need to be considered. In addition to this, there is a risk of infection not only at the puncture site, but also as a result of bladder catheterization. This latter procedure is rendered necessary because of the epidural-associated loss of control of the bladder.


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