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Can J Anaesth. 1988 May;35(3 ( Pt 1)):249-54.

A comparative study of patient controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) and continuous infusion epidural analgesia (CIEA) during labour.

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Department of Anaesthesia, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.


In a randomised, single-blinded, placebo-controlled study, 27 parturients in labour receiving epidural 0.125 per cent bupivacaine, were assessed to evaluate the efficacy of patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) compared with continuous infusion epidural analgesia (CIEA). Group A (n = 14) received a background infusion of 4 0.125 per cent bupivacaine, with further 4 ml aliquots, self-administered, as required (up to 16 Group B (n = 11) received a continuous infusion of 12 through the same PCA apparatus, but with the demand-button deactivated. Both groups were similar in respect to age, height, weight, duration and outcome of labour, birthweight and neonatal Apgar scores. Patients in Group A (PCEA) received significantly less local anaesthetic than those in Group B (11.2 vs 15.2 Pain relief was similar in both groups. Patients expressed overall satisfaction with PCEA, appreciating control over their own pain relief and less reliance on medical staff. PCEA is a safe, effective means of providing optimal analgesia during labour, with minimal local anaesthetic requirement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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