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The Effect of the Time of Injection of Intrathecal Analgesia on the Length of Early and Advanced Labor

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Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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Controversies in obstetric anesthesia include the effect of regional analgesia on theprogress and length of labor. The purpose of this retrospective study was to determinethe effect of the timing of intrathecal narcotic analgesia on women in the labor anddelivery setting. The study population included 96 patients with low risk, singletonpregnancies with similar demographic characteristics. The study measured the length offirst stage, second stage and total length of labor for women who received their initialintrathecal narcotic injection either in early between two and four centimeters of cervicaldilation or advanced between five and ten centimeters of cervical dilation labor. Theresults were compared to a control group who received no regional anesthesia todetermine if the timing of the initial intrathecal injection increased, decreased or had noeffect on length of labor. This study found that the initial timing of intrathecal narcoticshad no effect on the length of the first stage of labor. The results showed that the lengthof the second stage of labor for patients who received intrathecal narcotics in advancedlabor increased from 25 minutes to 49 minutes compared to women who received noregional anesthesia. The timing of the first dose of the intrathecal narcotic had no effecton the total length of labor. The results of this study found that intrathecal narcotics donot prolong the length of labor.

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