For millions of years of human existence, the process of having a baby has not become easier and simpler for both a mother and a baby. To relieve stress during childbirth nowadays, the issue of drug anesthesia is often addressed to. In world practice at the present stage, the method of epidural (epidural) anesthesia is most often used for child delivery.
Epidural anesthesia is a type of conductive regional anesthesia, during which an anesthetic agent is injected into the spinal cord by using a needle-catheter, causing a blockage of nerve impulses. This type of anesthesia allows you to almost completely relieve a woman in labor from pain.
During the manipulation, a puncture is made at the level of 3-4 lumbar vertebrae. Due to the special structure of the spinal cord in this area, the procedure is not traumatic and practically safe. Through a needle-catheter, an anesthetic agent is administered at intervals of 30 minutes, which reduces or completely eliminats the sensitivity in the body below the point of insertion, but does not disrupt motor activity. A few minutes after the administration of the drug, the woman has a weakness in the legs, which develops into complete numbness. Contractions cease to cause pain, there is only pressure in the lower abdomen and on the rectum.
When is epidural anesthesia needed? Direct indications for peridural anesthesia are:
- prolonged labor activity for more than 12 hours;
- the need for surgery;
- premature pregnancy;
- a sharp increase in blood pressure.
In which cases is epidural anesthesia contraindicated? Here is a list of diseases and conditions in which epidural anesthesia is not performed:
- high intracranial pressure;
- low blood pressure;
- blood pathology: infection, low clotting, etc;
- danger of obstetric bleeding;
- inflammatory processes in the puncture area;
- spinal pathology in the lumbar region, making it difficult to access the catheter;
- individual intolerance to anesthetics;
- unconscious state of the woman in labor;
- Refusal of the mother from anesthesia.
When conducting epidural anesthesia, side effects may occur, among which there are:
- lowering of blood pressure, provoking a nausea attack;
- an allergic reaction to the drug;
- hypotonic smooth muscle of the urinary tract, which leads to urinary retention;
- short-term paralysis of the muscles of the lower extremities (extremely rare).
When conducting this type of anesthesia, the drugs do not penetrate the placenta and are not absorbed into the baby’s blood.