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Pain-Management

17 August 2010

How is an epidural injection done?

Having an epidural is not really painful. Patients report that it feels “strange”, like a pressure in the back. This section describes the method involved.

Having an epidural is not really painful. Patients report that it feels “strange”, like pressure in the back.

The anaesthetist employs a “loss of resistance” technique to know when the needle tip has reached the epidural space: a syringe is attached to the epidural needle, which is gradually pushed further below the skin in the direction of the epidural space. With his/her thumb, the anaesthetist keeps continuous pressure on the plunger of the syringe. When the tip of the needle reaches the epidural space, which has a lower resistance than the surrounding tissues, the plunger will suddenly drop into the syringe (“loss of resistance”).

 

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