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Modern neuraxial labour analgesia

Sng, Ban L.a,b; Kwok, Sarah C.a; Sia, Alex T.H.a,b

Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology: June 2015 - Volume 28 - Issue 3 - p 285–289
doi: 10.1097/ACO.0000000000000183

Purpose of review Neuraxial analgesia is considered the gold standard of labour analgesia as it provides the most effective method of pain relief during childbirth. In this article, we explore the recent advances in the initiation and maintenance of epidural analgesia.

Recent findings Patient-controlled epidural analgesia, computer-integrated patient-controlled epidural analgesia, intermittent epidural bolus (programmed intermittent bolus, automated mandatory bolus) and variable frequency automated mandatory bolus administration are techniques that allow the individualized titration and optimization of labour analgesia. The debate has moved on to finding the optimal settings for epidural bolus dosing, time intervals and frequency for epidural analgesia with the hope of improving safety and efficacy as well as patient satisfaction.

Summary We examine these recent developments in pump technology and epidural delivery systems and evaluate how these have enhanced the mothers’ birthing experiences.

aDepartment of Women's Anaesthesia, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

bDuke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore

Correspondence to Ban L. Sng, MBBS, MMed, FANZCA, FFPMANZCA, MCI, Deputy Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Women's Anaesthesia, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Singapore. E-mail:

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