Obstetric Consent for the Use of Epidural Anesthesia

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Obstetric Consent for the Use of Epidural Anesthesia

Sharon Lopez
Apollo College
Professor Scherer
October 8, 2009
Nurse Perspective

Epidural anesthesia is a procedure utilized frequently, for pain relief, by woman enduring the labor process. There are many considerations that the nurse is responsible for prior to, during, and after the procedure is performed. Knowing what these assessments, provisions, interventions, and evaluations are will prevent harm of the patient and ensure suitable pain relief measures are successful. According to Wong, epidural is the most effective pain relief measure used for labor (Wong, Perry, Hockenberry, & Deitra Leonard Lowdermilk, 2006).

Epidural by Definition

Epidural anesthesia involves the process of placing a needle fed catheter into the epidural space of the spinal column in between the L4 and L5 lumbar vertebrae. The purpose of this placement during labor is to block the T10 to S5 required for pain relief of all body areas involved in labor without suppressing organ function and decreasing LOC (Wong, Perry, Hockenberry, & Deitra Leonard Lowdermilk, 2006). The quantity and type of medication used determines the inhibitory effects on motor function and activity. This is a consented procedure which requires adequate education.


Upon admission to the labor and delivery unit, the nurse should be attentive to any surgical history, allergies, obstetrics history, current medications, renal function, last meal eaten and at what time, contraction pattern, progression status of labor, and current maternal and fetal vital signs. The nurse knows that these are all significant factors in the administration of epidural medication.

Surgical history involves the use of general anesthesia and gives the nurse clues as to the patient’s physiological reaction and…...

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