Update on epidural analgesia during labor and delivery

Samuel Lurie*, Virgil Priscu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Properly administered epidural analgesia provides adequate pain relief during labor and delivery, shortens the first stage of labor, avoids adverse effects of narcotics, hypnotics, or inhalation drugs and it could be used as anesthesia in case a cesarean section is required. Epidural analgesia should be provided to all patients who need and ask for it with an exception of contraindications such as coagulation disorders, suspected infection or gross anatomic abnormality. The technique must be carried out with care if serious life-threatening complications, such as intravenous or intrathecal injection of local anesthetic, are to be avoided. The aim of many recent investigations has been to reduce the total dose of local anesthetic used. Supplementation of an opioid (mainly fentanyl) and introduction of the patient controlled epidural pump may not only serve this goal, but also reduce the demands on the time of obstetric anesthetists. We conclude that properly and skillfully administered epidural is the best form of pain relief during labor and delivery and we hope that more mothers could enjoy its benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-153
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidural analgesia
  • Labor
  • Obstetrics
  • Pain relief


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