Stopping Epidurals During Second Stage of Labor Doesn't Seem to Affect Delivery Time — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
October 11, 2017

Stopping Epidurals During Second Stage of Labor Doesn't Seem to Affect Delivery Time

By Kelly Young

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Lorenzo Di Francesco, MD, FACP, FHM

Epidural analgesia does not prolong the second stage of labor relative to placebo, according to a trial in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Researchers in China enrolled 400 nulliparous women who requested analgesia during labor. In the first stage of labor, patients received standard epidurals (ropivacaine, 0.8%; with sufentanil). But when the cervix was fully dilated, i.e., the second stage, patients were randomized to receive either saline or the standard epidural solution. Patients with excessive pain in the second stage could receive an unblinded infusion of the epidural drug.

The primary outcome — the duration of time between full cervical dilation and delivery — was similar between groups (about 50 minutes). The saline group scored lower on maternal satisfaction with pain relief.

The authors conclude: "Stopping the epidural infusion at the start of the second stage of labor does not affect the duration or any other outcome, with the exception of possibly resulting in lower maternal satisfaction."

Your Comment

(will not be published)

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Do you have any conflict of interest to disclose?
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Vertical Tabs

* Required

Reader comments are intended to encourage lively discussion of clinical topics with your peers in the medical community. We ask that you keep your remarks to a reasonable length, and we reserve the right to withhold publication of remarks that do not meet this standard.

PRIVACY: We will not use your email address, submitted for a comment, for any other purpose nor sell, rent, or share your e-mail address with any third parties. Please see our Privacy Policy.