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Thinking epidural? Please read!

Posted by on Jan. 27, 2009 at 3:59 PM
  • 111 Replies

 

Poll

Question: after reading...would you still have an epidural? Not only are their major risks for mom but also baby.

Options:

yes

no


Only group members can vote in this poll.

Total Votes: 163

View Results

Here are some examples of women who have died from epidural anesthesia to illustrate the dangers.

A healthy, 31 year old woman having her third child requested epidural anesthesia and developed an acute condition of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema). She could not be successfully resuscitated. The baby also died.76

Sudden stoppage of the heart (cardiac arrest) can occur during epidural anesthesia.77 78 along with other heart rhythm changes.79 Sudden cardiac arrest may be caused by air getting into veins during placement of the epidural.80

Respiratory insufficiency can occur and cause death. In one case report, the patient initially developed pain in the shoulder-neck region after epidural anesthesia, followed by fever and an elevated white blood count. This led to a high-level (arms and legs) paralysis with an inability to breath. Many problems then developed with the heart and arterial system. An abscess was found and the patient was eventually stabilized with antibiotics. The patient required chronic mechanical ventilation and died of recurrent pneumonia after 5 months of intensive care. The incidence of breathing difficulties in one study was 0.54%, although only 5% of those patients required prolonged artificial ventilation. Total spinal anesthesia occurred in 0.013% of the epidurals but more than half of these cases required intubation and prolonged mechanical ventilation. Partial spinal anesthesia (sub-arachnoid block) occurred in 0.04% of the cases.81

Women are almost never given informed consent for epidurals. Even if they were just read two paragraphs from the package insert that comes with the medication used for epidurals (manufactured by Abbott Laboratories), they might think twice. The package insert states:

Local anesthetics rapidly cross the placenta, and when used for epidural, caudal or pudendal anesthesia, can cause varying degrees of maternal, fetal and neonatal toxicity....

Adverse reactions in the parturient, fetus and neonate involve alternations of the central nervous system, peripheral vascular tone and cardiac function....

Neurologic effects following epidural or caudal anesthesia may include spinal block of varying magnitude (including high or total spinal block); hypotension secondary to spinal block; urinary retention; fecal and urinary incontinence; loss of perineal sensation and sexual function; persistent anesthesia, paresthesia, weakness, paralysis of the lower extremities and loss of sphincter control all of which may have slow, incomplete or no recovery; headache; backache; septic meningitis; meningismus; slowing of labor; increased incidence of forceps delivery; cranial nerve palsies due to traction on nerves from loss of cerebrospinal fluid.

 

Who would sign a consent if it included the above language? The degree to which the facts about the risks of epidural anesthesia are hidden from women in labor is astonishing.

by on Jan. 27, 2009 at 3:59 PM
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Replies (1-10):
jojomommy
by Gold Member on Jan. 27, 2009 at 4:01 PM
I took that risk and i would never change my mind
hot_mommy_of2
by on Jan. 27, 2009 at 4:02 PM

I voted no. I had both of my children with no epiderals or pain medication for these reasons and for the fact that I felt like a stronger woman going through it by myself. 13 hr labor & 21 hr labor.

.

Ms.Dean
by on Jan. 27, 2009 at 4:03 PM

I think that my doc did an excellent jub of informing me of the risks. I knew the  risks and still got the epidural with all 3 of my kids. Its sad that some people have had such poor side affects but everyone I  know has never had a problem. The closest I have come to a problem with it was when the nurse who was holding me still while the needle was being injected passed out. Boy that was scary but I was fine and so was abby after. That poor nurse though was so embarassed.

A.J.s_mommy
by Ruby Member on Jan. 27, 2009 at 4:04 PM

I had one with my son...i didnt have any complications and it worked great...but if i were to ever have another child i wouldnt get one.  Personal choice.  Not from reading the articles.

Trishintraining
by on Jan. 27, 2009 at 4:04 PM

I waited to get an epidural until I was dilated at 7cm.

The further along you are, the fewer the risks.

And I LOVED it. I had no problems. And those numbers are TINY, there's no way I'd go through labor without one.

 

lauren8892
by on Jan. 27, 2009 at 4:05 PM

I also took the risk and will chose an epi the next time around too

Ft.Stewart_wife
by on Jan. 27, 2009 at 4:06 PM

Blah blah blah. I did it and i'm not screwed up and neither are my kids. If you dont want a epi then good for you. I prefer to have them.

             

gcstar42
by Shara on Jan. 27, 2009 at 4:07 PM

i had epidurals with both of my kids and had absolutely no problems. there are risks with practically everything you do in life and although i know that those things can happen they are not very common. i feel like if something is meant to happen and its mine or my babys time to go then God is going to take us anyway so i might as well at least try not to have any pain.

tmama1119
by on Jan. 27, 2009 at 4:07 PM

There's always a risk and always a stastic that goes along with it and we take these risks every day. Yes, I did take "the risk" and it was very worth it. I labored for 12 hours without anything and then I labored for another five with an epidural. I still felt most of the pain, but it did take the sting off. My son was very alert, happy, and healthy when he was born.

julionna_lion
by on Jan. 27, 2009 at 4:07 PM

Seriously.

Quoting Ft.Stewart_wife:

Blah blah blah. I did it and i'm not screwed up and neither are my kids. If you dont want a epi then good for you. I prefer to have them.


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