Study: Combined Spinal Epidurals Provide Better Pain Relief During Child Labor

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Combined spinal epidural anesthesia provides better pain control during the first stages of child labor compared with traditional epidural labor analgesia, according to a recent article in Anesthesia-Analgesia.

Researchers from Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns' department of anesthesiology in San Diego conducted a randomized, controlled trial to compare pain scores during the first and second stages of labor for traditional epidural analgesia against those of combined spinal epidural anesthesia.

They analyzed data from 398 epidural and 402 CSE subjects, who received their preferred method of pain control. Pain scores during the first stage of labor were an average of 1.4 for CSE and 1.9 for epidural. During the second stage, CSE rated 1.7 and epidural maintained 1.9. However, both types of anesthesia reached a high of 2.0 during delivery.

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