Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

No increase in C-sections when epidural analgesia given early in labor

17.02.2005


Injecting spinal-epidural analgesia in early labor does not increase cesarean delivery rates and provides better pain relief and a shorter duration of labor than systemic opioid analgesia, according to an article by Northwestern University researchers published in the Feb. 17 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.
Epidural injections are administered into the space between the wall of the spinal canal and the sheath covering the spinal cord and anesthetize the abdominal, genital and pelvic areas. Spinal injections are administered into the fluid surrounding the spinal cord.

Previous research has suggested that epidural analgesia initiated early in labor – when the cervix is dilated less than 4 centimeters – is associated with an increased risk for cesarean delivery. Based on that research, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended that epidural analgesia be delayed in women who have not previously given birth until their cervix dilates to 4 to 5 centimeters and that other forms of analgesia, for example, systemic opioid analgesia, be used until that time.


However, it is unclear whether increased risk for cesarean delivery is due to neuraxial [spinal or epidural] analgesia or can be explained by other factors, said Cynthia A. Wong, M.D., associate professor of anesthesiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, who led the study. Wong also is an anesthesiologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "Systemic opioid analgesia is often incomplete and has potential maternal and fetal side effects, including neonatal and maternal respiratory depression, especially when spinal or epidural opioids are administered concomitantly," Wong said.

The Northwestern study examined 750 full-term, nulliparous (no previous births) women in spontaneous labor, with cervical dilation less than 4 centimeters. Participants were randomized to receive spinal fentanyl or systemic hydromorphone (a morphine-like drug) at their first request for anesthesia. Epidural analgesia was administered in the spinal group at their second request for analgesia, and in the systemic group, when the cervix had dilated to 4 centimeters or greater, or at the third request for analgesia. Rate of cesarean delivery was the primary outcome. Wong and colleagues found that the rate of cesarean delivery was not significantly different between the groups – 18 percent in the spinal group versus 21 percent in the systemic group.

Moreover, the median time from initiation of analgesia to complete dilation was 295 minutes in the epidural group versus 385 minutes in the systemic group; vaginal delivery was significantly shorter (398 minutes versus 479 minutes) and self-reported pain scores were significantly lower after spinal-epidural analgesia. The lack of association between early labor neuraxial analgesia and an increased cesarean delivery rate suggests that request for analgesia, or greater analgesia use, may be markers for other risk factors for cesarean section, Wong said. Another clinically important finding of the Northwestern study was that duration of the first stage of labor following epidural administration of analgesia was shorter by approximately 80 minutes. Previous studies have found that epidural analgesia compared to systemic opioid analgesia was associated with a prolonged first stage of labor.

Wong’s co-authors on this study were Barbara M. Scavone, M.D.; Robert J. McCarthy, PharmD; John T. Sullivan, M.D.; Nathaniel T. Diaz, M.D.; Edward Yaghmour, M.D.; R-Jay L. Marcus, M.D.; Saadia S. Sherwani, M.D. Michelle T. Sproviero, M.D.; Roshani Patel; Carmen Robles; and Sharon Grouper, anesthesiology; and Alan M. Peaceman, M.D., obstetrics and gynecology.

Elizabeth Crown | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.northwestern.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Photoactive bacteria bait may help in fight against MRSA infections
12.10.2018 | Purdue University

nachricht 15 emerging technologies that could reduce global catastrophic biological risks
10.10.2018 | Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Storage & Transport of highly volatile Gases made safer & cheaper by the use of “Kinetic Trapping"

Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles

Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...

Im Focus: Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity

When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.

We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...

Im Focus: Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things

Fraunhofer IWS Dresden scientists print electronic layers with polymer ink

Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...

Im Focus: Dynamik einzelner Proteine

Neue Messmethode erlaubt es Forschenden, die Bewegung von Molekülen lange und genau zu verfolgen

Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...

Im Focus: Dynamics of individual proteins

New measurement method allows researchers to precisely follow the movement of individual molecules over long periods of time

The function of proteins – the molecular tools of the cell – is governed by the interplay of their structure and dynamics. Advances in electron microscopy have...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

5th International Conference on Cellular Materials (CellMAT), Scientific Programme online

02.10.2018 | Event News

Major Project: The New Silk Road

01.10.2018 | Event News

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physics: Not everything is where it seems to be

15.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Microfluidic molecular exchanger helps control therapeutic cell manufacturing

15.10.2018 | Life Sciences

Link between Gut Flora and Multiple Sclerosis Discovered

15.10.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>