Dr. Reitzel describes the sensations a woman will feel when she is given epidural anesthesia and explains how the amount of medicine administered is determined.
Once the actual epidural is in and running probably 85 to 90 percent of the women explain the sensation as being like they have sat in a warm bath, warm tingling, maybe like they have even crossed their legs for too long.
And a proper functioning epidural you should still be able to wiggle your toes and bend your knees, okay? You should be able to move yourself around the bed.
They found that women who can’t do that typically have higher incidents of c-sections and forceps and vacuums and things we don’t like doing to moms or babies.
So as a consequence we’d rather start you on the lighter side, get you comfortable, okay? Now once we actually get you comfortable, if your body makes a big change, let’s say you go from two centimeters to five centimeters really quick like that, the epidurals typically can’t keep up with that and often times we come back and we administer more medicine through the epidural.
Now there’s no more needle sticks, it’s just a syringe that connects up to a luer lock and we give more medicines through that. As a consequence we would rather come back a series of time and give you incremental boluses of medicines to tailor your epidural to your specifications rather than just plastering everybody at the bed because, again, if we give too much medicine then you can’t wiggle your toes, you can’t feel anything and anything like that. That’s not a good thing.
About Dr. Keith E. Reitzel:
Dr. Keith Eric Reitzel, M.D., is the Clinical Director at Anesthesia Resources, Ltd. in Tempe, Arizona. Dr. Reitzel is certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology and he is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). Additionally, he is on the Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Surgery Committees at Banner Desert Medical Center. Dr. Reitzel is licensed in Arizona, as well as North Carolina.