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Anesth Analg. 2000 Feb;90(2):328-32.

Patient-controlled epidural analgesia during labor: the effects of the increase in bolus and lockout interval.

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Département d'Anesthésie-Réanimation and Clinique Gynécologique et Obstétricale, Polyclinique Jean-Villar, Bruges-Bordeaux, France.


Most studies use a bolus size of <6 mL of 0.125% bu- pivacaine for patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) during labor. In this double-blinded, randomized study, we compared the efficacy of a larger bolus injected via a PCEA pump to a conventional PCEA setting. By using a combination of 0.125% bupivacaine with 1:800,000 epinephrine and 0.625 microg/mL sufentanil, the first PCEA setting was typical (4 mL/8 min), whereas the other combined a 12-mL bolus dose and a 25-min lockout interval, i.e., similar maximal hourly dose. Rescue analgesia was provided with 6 mL of 0.25% bupivacaine. Patient satisfaction and pain were scored on verbal and visual analog scales. Data were analyzed from 103 parturients in the 12-mL/25-min group and 100 in the 4-mL/8-min group. In the 12-mL/25-min group, the median pain score on a 0- to 10-cm visual analog scale was lower at 6-cm cervical dilation (1 [range = 0-8] vs 3 [0-8]) and at delivery (1 [0-10] vs 2 [0-10]). Satisfaction was also better (70% vs 38% "excellent" opinions, at 6-cm cervical dilation). Use of the pump (ratio of successful and total demands) was high and similar in both groups. Rescue analgesia was comparable. Doses of analgesics were greater in the 12-mL/25-min group (hourly bupivacaine dose = 13.9 +/- 5.3 [mean+/- SD] vs 9.4 +/- 4.1 mg). No differences were noted between groups for the severity of hypotension, ephedrine requirement, outcome of the delivery, and Apgar scores.


A patient-controlled epidural analgesia setting that allows a parturient to receive an increased analgesic dose improves satisfaction with patient-controlled epidural analgesia during labor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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