Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Anesthesiology. 2006 Aug;105(2):394-9.

Incidence of epidural hematoma, infection, and neurologic injury in obstetric patients with epidural analgesia/anesthesia.

Author information

Pain Research and Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.


Of the 4 million annual births in the United States, 2.4 million involve epidural analgesia. Serious adverse events are rare but are important in young women. Robust estimates for the risk of harm are not available. Data for superficial and deep infections, hematoma, and transient and permanent neurologic injury were obtained from studies reporting adverse events with obstetric epidural analgesia, and incidence presented as individual risk for a woman, number of events per million women, and percentage incidence. A total of 1.37 million women received an epidural for childbirth, reported in 27 articles. Most information (85% of women) was in larger (> 10,000 women) studies published after 1990, with risk estimates as follows: epidural hematoma, 1 in 168,000; deep epidural infection, 1 in 145,000; persistent neurologic injury, 1 in 240,000; and transient neurologic injury, 1 in 6,700. Earlier and smaller studies produced significantly higher risk estimates for transient neurologic injury plus injury of unknown duration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Support Center