Effects of epidural anesthesia on labor progress.

Research paper by Kamile K Kukulu, Hafize H Demirok

Indexed on: 04 Mar '08Published on: 04 Mar '08Published in: Pain Management Nursing


Although delivery is a normal physiologic process, it causes a certain level of pain in women. Today, the most frequently preferred and the most used method is epidural anesthesia. The objective of the present study was to review the reasons, effects, and risks associated with epidural analgesia for pain relief. The study was conducted at Akdeniz University Hospital, Antalya, Turkey, between October 2004 and July 2005. Epidural analgesia was administered to 51 pregnant women in the experimental group, and 51 pregnant women in the control group did not receive analgesia. Data were collected by questionnaire and observation forms. Epidural anesthesia was chosen by 76.5% of the participants because they wanted to experience a pain-free childbirth, 66.7% because they were afraid of the process of delivery, 25.5% because they had had a previous bad labor experience, 35.3% because they had people around them with positive experiences, 29.4% because they wanted to have a normal delivery, and 31.4% because they wanted first to see their baby. The overwhelming majority of the participants (94.1%) experienced nervousness before the administration of epidural analgesia. It was determined that epidural analgesia extended the time of labor and increased oxygen and oxytocin requirement but did not increase the risk for interventional delivery and cesarean. To give better obstetric care and control of labor pain, it is of clinical importance to know obstetric anesthesia and analgesics.