VOL: 98, ISSUE: 49, PAGE NO: 29WHAT IS IT?
- Epidural analgesia is the administration of certain drugs into the epidural space to achieve effective relief of acute pain. By acting locally, it can provide more effective pain relief than other methods of opioid administration, often removing all pain sensation, with lower levels of respiratory depression and sedation and increased motility in the gastrointestinal system.
- Sensory, motor and autonomic nerves are all affected by epidural analgesia. If the epidural sensory block level is above T4, for example, respiratory function may be affected. Regular observation of the patient and infusion device must be carried out; this is often documented on a dedicated epidural infusion chart that includes the drug prescription.
- The epidural site should be checked daily for signs of infection, leakage or tenderness.