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Br J Anaesth. 2001 Apr;86(4):565-7.

Intrapartum epidural catheter migration: a comparative study of three dressing applications.

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Department of Anaesthesia, Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital, UK.


We compared three types of catheter fixation application for their ability to minimize the incidence and magnitude of epidural catheter movement during labour. Patients were randomized to have their epidural catheter secured by a Tegaderm dressing (group T; n = 35), a Tegaderm dressing plus filter-shoulder fixation (group F; n = 39), or a Niko Epi-Fix dressing (group N; n = 37). The length of catheter visible at the patient's skin surface was recorded (to the nearest 0.5 cm) after insertion and before removal; the difference was defined as 'catheter movement'. Outward movement of the catheter was greatest when a Niko Epi-Fix was used (P < 0.01). Concerning minimization of displacement of the epidural catheter per se, only a Tegaderm dressing with additional filter-shoulder fixation proved more effective than using a Niko Epi-Fix dressing (P < 0.05).

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