Epidural analgesia and instrumental delivery

Authors

  • P. WALTON,

    1. P. Walton, MB, BS, FFARCS, Late Locum Senior Registrar, F. Reynolds, MD, FFARCS, Senior Lecturer, Anaesthetic Unit, St Thomas's Hospital Medical School (UMS), London SE1 7EH.
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  • F. REYNOLDS

    Corresponding author
    1. P. Walton, MB, BS, FFARCS, Late Locum Senior Registrar, F. Reynolds, MD, FFARCS, Senior Lecturer, Anaesthetic Unit, St Thomas's Hospital Medical School (UMS), London SE1 7EH.
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should be addressed to: Dr F. Reynolds.

Summary

In patients given epidural analgesia who had singleton vertex vaginal deliveries the normal delivery rate was 57%, compared to 80% in all this group. The increase in instrumental delivery rate could partly be accounted for by parity (primigravidae are over-represented in the epidural group), by obstetric and medical indications for epidurals, and by the need for sitting top-ups to relieve perineal pain. There remained a small population of patients in whom epidurals may have contributed to the need for instrumental delivery.

Ancillary