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Epidural Anesthesia Linked to Fewer Postpartum Complications

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jean Guglielminotti MD,PhD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
Columbia University Irving Medical Center
New York 10032 

MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? 

Response: An old study (2004-2006) conducted in France suggested that epidural analgesia during childbirth resulted in a decreased risk of postpartum hemorrhage, the first cause of preventable maternal morbidity and mortality. We believed it was important to replicate this study in the United States, because of the advances in obstetric and anesthesia care practices during the last 15 years, and because of the marked differences in the health care systems between the United States and France.

 MedicalResearch.com:  What are the main findings?

Response: Use of epidural analgesia during childbirth leads to a significant decrease in the risk of life-threatening maternal complications, including postpartum hemorrhage. It is an important information for mothers when they have to make decisions about the analgesic technique they may chose for labor.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: We suggest that increasing access to and utilization of epidural during childbirth, especially for racial and ethnic minority women, could be a feasible strategy to improve maternal health and reduce disparities in maternal health.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: We would like to see more research on the effect of possible interventions to increase the use of epidural analgesia during labor such as educational programs on epidural analgesia for pregnant women.

Disclosures:     I receive some funding from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (1 R21MD016414-01)   


Guglielminotti J, Landau R, Daw J, Friedman AM, Chihuri S, Li G. Use of Labor Neuraxial Analgesia for Vaginal Delivery and Severe Maternal Morbidity. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(2):e220137. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.0137

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Last Updated on February 28, 2022 by Marie Benz