Care of the patient receiving epidural analgesia
Gillian Chumbley Consultant nurse, Pain Service, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Pain Management Centre, Charing Cross Hospital, London
Sarah Thomas Clinical nurse specialist, Pain Service, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Pain Management Centre, Charing Cross Hospital, London
Epidural analgesia is a common technique used to manage acute pain after major surgery and is viewed as the ‘gold standard’. When managed effectively, epidural analgesia is known to reduce the risk of adverse outcomes following major surgery. There are two main classes of medications used in epidural analgesia: opioids and local anaesthetics. Both of these drugs are beneficial in reducing or eliminating pain, but are also responsible for the common side effects associated with this method of pain relief. There are also some rare and potentially fatal side effects of epidural therapy. The nurse’s role is to assess and monitor patients carefully and report and respond to any concerns.
Nursing Standard. 25, 9, 35-40. doi: 10.7748/ns2010.11.25.9.35.c8075Correspondence
This article has been subject to double blind peer review