Epidural Anesthesia

Some Potential RISKS of Epidural Anesthesia
• Inadequate pain relief (up to 10%)
• Slower labor
• Increases the chance of need for more frequent vaginal exams (which increases chance of infection), bladder catheter, pitocin, forceps, vacuum extraction, cesarean section
• Abnormal fetal heart rate pattern
• Rise in mother’s temperature simulates infection, leading to unnecessary treatment
• Drop in mother’s blood pressure
• Short or long term backache (up to 19%)
• Accidental spinal block, spinal headache
• Shivering, itching
• Feelings of detachment from labor
• Short term neurobiological effects on baby affecting irritability, consolability, suckling, and responsiveness
• Rare complications effecting breathing, swallowing,
• Rare long term numbness or weakness from nerve injury
• Extremely rare brain damage or death
BUT
if it doesn’t do any of the things mentioned above, it has the possibility of making you not feel pain during labor.

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