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The Need for an Epidural “Window of Opportunity” in Pregnant Women With a Lumbar Tattoo

Zipori, Y.; Jakobi, P.; Solt, I.; Abecassis, P.

doi: 10.1097/01.aoa.0000547278.32659.22
Editorials and Reviews

(Int J Obstet Anesth. 2018;33:53–56)

Anesthesiologists face a dilemma when pregnant women with lower back tattoos request epidural analgesia during labor, as clear guidelines have not been established regarding the performance of epidural procedures through a tattoo on the lower back. In the United States ∼25% of people between the ages of 18 and 50 report having a tattoo. The opinions of anesthesiologists vary widely as to how to approach this scenario. In surveys performed addressing the issue, 40% of survey respondents indicated they would not perform an epidural technique through a lumbar tattoo and 70% reported the lack of a departmental policy for how to manage these patients.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Rambam Health Care Campus, Haifa, Israel

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