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Anesthetist

An anesthetist is also called an anesthesiologist. An anesthetist administers anesthetic to patients, who are going to undergo surgery or procedure. With a local anesthetic, the patient is numb only in a designated area where the medication is administered. General anesthetic involves a procedure where a patient is prepared for surgery by going to sleep and having sensation temporarily blocked. Anesthesia ensures that the surgical procedure be done without distress to the patient.

Epidural

The term epidural is often used as a short form for 'epidural anesthesia'. As a first step before administration of an epidural, an IV is given with relaxing medications. The next step is that the physician numbs a small area of the skin with numbing medicine. The physician then directs a small needle using x ray guidance into the epidural space. A small amount of contrast dye is injected to insure that the needle is properly positioned into the epidural space. Finally, a small mixture of numbing medicine or anesthetic and anti-inflammatory injection is injected.


Risk of epidural during childbirth

  • A mother with low platelet count may make the placement of an epidural more risky.
  • Sometimes due to weight problems, it becomes impossible for an anesthetist to find the epidural space.
  • Epidurals cannot be administered if the mother is bleeding heavily or suffering from shock.
  • It is observed that sometimes epidurals can lead to fetal distress and fetal malposition.
  • Increased risk of forceps or vacuum extension, episiotomy and increased risk in cesarean section is observed because of epidural use.
  • A study of breast feeding mothers conducted in 2006 reveals that mothers who received an epidural were more likely to experience problems in breast feeding during the first few days after delivery.


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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: March 23, 2019