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Anesthesiol Clin North America. 2003 Mar;21(1):59-70.

Misconceptions about neuraxial analgesia.

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  • 1Departments of Anesthesia and Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toronto, Sunnybrook and Women's Health Science Centre, 76 Grenville Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1B2. stephen.halpern@swchsc.on.ca


Neuraxial analgesia is the most effective treatment for labor pain. Although there are known risks and side effects, many problems are attributed to the technique without appropriate scientific assessment. Some observations, such as the increased use of forceps and prolonged second stage of labor, are associated with epidural analgesia, but there is not enough evidence to categorically state whether the technique caused the problems. These topics warrant continued investigation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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