A Quick Look at Epidurals During Childbirth

Anesthesiologist and pain interventionalist Dr. Brian Klagges, MD, currently administers treatment to patients at Elliot Hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire. One of the procedures that pain interventionalists like Dr. Brian Klagges are licensed to perform is the epidural, which is commonly used to aid women in the process of childbirth.

An epidural is a type of regional anesthesia that temporarily blocks the activation of pain receptors within a woman’s lower spine. Though epidurals administered during birth are designed to diminish the pain associated with labor, they are not designed to completely quench feeling.

In order to administer an epidural, an anesthesiologist locates the spinal membrane and inserts a needle into the back of the woman in labor. This needle is larger than standard needles in order to allow a catheter to pass through it. Once the catheter is inserted, it is taped in place and the needle is withdrawn. Leaving the catheter in the back allows the anesthesiologist to administer additional pain medicine as needed during the delivery.

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