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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Sep;191(3):903-6.

Effect of epidural anaesthesia on clinician-applied force during vaginal delivery.

Author information

1
Georgetown University Hospital, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Washington, DC 20007, USA. shp2@gunet.georgetown.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Epidural anesthesia (EA) is used in 80% of vaginal deliveries and is linked to neonatal and maternal trauma. Our objectives were to determine (1) whether EA affected clinician-applied force on the fetus and (2) whether this force influenced perineal trauma.

STUDY DESIGN:

After informed consent, multiparas with term, cephalic, singletons were delivered by 1 physician wearing a sensor-equipped glove to record force exerted on the fetal head. Those with EA were compared with those without for delivery force parameters. Regression analysis was used to identify predictors of vaginal laceration.

RESULTS:

The force required for delivery was greater in patients with EA (n = 27) than without (n = 5) (P < .01). Clinical parameters, including birth weight (P = .31) were similar between the groups. Clinician force was similar in those with no versus first- versus second-degree laceration (P = .5). Only birth weight was predictive of laceration (P = .02).

CONCLUSION:

Epidural use resulted in greater clinician force required for vaginal delivery of the fetus in multiparas, but this force was not associated with perineal trauma.

PMID:
15467562
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajog.2004.07.026
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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